Who has the best economics results? The Democrats, or the Republicans? Like most time-series questions, the answer is “it depends” on the assumptions of the analysis, how the data is normalized. and the boundaries of the time series.
- First, the data must be viewed on a per capita basis and in real dollars. Dollar data that relates to the size of government, national production, naturally grows with population and as the value of the currency dilutes. So, I analyze dollar data in 2005 dollars and on a per capita basis.
- Data can be skewed by the decision made as to when to start accountability for each party and president. I start analyses from the date of inauguration, rounded to the balance of the year. To do otherwise would misappropriate important policy decisions, such as attributing Obama’s stimulus and the 2nd half of the TARP allottment erroneously to Bush, or would attribute the first year of the Reagan tax package, which was passed retroactively to the 1st of January of 1981, to Carter.
- The third time series decision is to decide WHEN to start counting. From the Civil War? The Depression? WW2? There is no right or wrong answer to this one, so my analyses are shown in fours: Starting after WW1 (1919 and forward), with the start of the Great Depression (1930 and forward), from the end of WW2 (1946 and forward), and from Reagan on (which is arbitrary, but seems to be a common break point; 1981 and forward).