Monday, December 12, 2016

Why Do Unified Republican Governments Always Lead to Crisis?

While I believe the purpose of these types of headlines and tweets are to illicit positive emotions, readers would be well advised to look up the DISASTROUS history of extended periods of unified Republican governments. 

In fact, the ONLY 3 PERIODS of extended unified Republican governments going back to 1900 ALL DIRECTLY led to banking crises....Arguably the 3 worst in US History. To be clear, I am defining 'extended' unified governments as anytime they control the House, Senate and White house for at least 4 years. This does not include short 2 year stints since it's hard to screw things up that quick (FYI there was only 1 period of that anyway, 1953-1955). You can look up the periods yourself here and more detail here.

The list of Unified Republican Government crises include the Panic of 1907The Great Depression, and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. Interestingly, the record of extended Republican control of Congress has also only led to crises. There have only been 4 periods of extended Republican control of Congress (3 of which overlap with the periods of full unified control just mentioned). However, the 4th period (I KID YOU NOT) ended in the 2000 DotCom Bust where the Republicans controlled the House and Senate from 1995-2001.

In short, full Republican control has NO history of making America great...let alone AGAIN. Don't feel like checking out that history yourself? Here's what you'll find....
Technically Republicans took control in 1895 but this graph does not start there. And While I mentioned the Panic of 1907......I will just brush off the Panic of 1901. Markets fell over 43% before bottoming after both events. How they were not thrown out until 1911 is anyone's guess.

Then we have the Great Depression fuelled by the unsustainable laissez-faire polices of the roaring 20's.
Only led to the greatest market decline in history and total social devastation.....Is that the type of "Great" we want to make again? 

Oh and then we have the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008
This case meets the minimum for "extended" by getting to 4 years (although technically they almost had 6 full years as only 1 independent tipped the senate democrat in 2001). Again lax regulations created the housing bubble which popped in 2006 and lead to our famous bank failures and financial crisis. (Case Shiller housing price index)

While the Republicans managed to get kicked out of Congress in 2007 the coming disaster was already well in motion by then.

While that wraps up the History of the 3 worst banking crises in American History...or um....I mean the History of the "Unified Republican Government". It would not be complete without completing it with the final piece to the history of the extended Republican control of Congress....which is only complete with the DotCom Bust of 2000.
There we have it folks! The disastrous history which has accompanied EVERY extended Unified Republican Government (or control of congress) since 1900. Think I'm missing a period that didn't end in disaster? Check for yourself. I'm not.


  1. Very interesting. An analysis of how folks of different economic strata fared might also be of interest.

  2. Democrat administrations produced major wars (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam).

    Both Democrat and Republican administrations have produced recessions:

    Theodore Roosevelt (R) - 36 months
    Howard Taft (R) - 24 months
    Woodrow Wilson (D) - 48 months
    Harding/Coolidge (R) - 14 months
    Calvin Coolidge (R) - 14 months
    Herbert Hoover (R) - 43 months
    FDR - 21 months
    Harry Truman - 11 months
    Dwight Eisenhower - 28 months
    Kennedy/LBJ - 0 months
    LBJ - 0 months
    Nixon/Ford - 27 months
    Jimmy Carter - 6 months
    Ronald Reagan - 16 months
    George H W Bush - 8 months
    Bill Clinton - 0 months
    George W Bush - 26 months
    Barack Obama - 0 months

    I don't think an American President has any control over the economy, it is the outcome of war, technological change, and market forces.

    Bill Clinton inherited a peace dividend from the end of the Cold War.

    George W Bush inherited the 9/11 and poured trillions into wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terror here at home.

    Obama took most of the US troops out of the Middle East, and largely did little to combat the war on terror, and ISIS terrorist attacks have spread into Europe and the United States.

    Trump campaigned on going after terrorists, which will take more money still. Let us all hope this effort is successful, and if so, will lead to economic prosperity here in the US and abroad.

    1. First you should realize I personally dislike both Republican & Democrats. This is more an observation about the results of periods of not having enough pushback via checks and balances on a party which favors deregulation.

      However, since your talking about GDP here they are by term but only going back 16 terms

      Also during those terms Republicans had 4.6 qtrs of recession per term (or just over 1yr of recession on avg) while Dems had 1.1 qtrs per term

      However, again this is not about who is president, I agree by itself it matters little. This is about who has more Control of government. Republican's like to brag about the Reagan years but there was checks in Congress because the Dems held the Senate for his entire tenure. Dems held house and senate his final 2 years.

      P.S. I voted for Gary Johnson

    2. Than you Ranter for the Blinder-Watson paper, it is an excellent study.

      Since FDR, Democrats have turned to deficit spending to stimulate the economy (Keynesian economics) in downturns, which results in improved economic growth.

      The US has run a budget deficit for nearly 3 decades, and will likely continue under Trump. I would expect to see more business growth and less government growth than would have occurred under a Clinton administration.

    3. So, John, your list has zero for:
      Obama, Clinton, Johnson, Kennedy, four out of the last five presidents.
      Six months for Carter (one term).
      About 5.5 per four years Truman's near 8 years.
      About 7 months per four years for FDR's just over 12 years.
      And then every Republican averaged 8 months or more per four years.
      Among Democrats, among the worst, only Woodrow Wilson fits in with the Republicans.

  3. This article made me curious, so I checked and the depression of 1873 was also preceded by a unified Republican government. Ulysses Grant was president, and the 41st and 42nd congresses both had Republican majorities.

    1. Lol, your right! And before that instance they weren't even called Republicans...

  4. The period of 1953 to 1955 was not really one of unified Republican control. In the Senate, they had a slim majority of 48R - 47D and 1 Independent at the beginning and had a remarkable 9 senatorial deaths, which flipped the control to Democrats for a brief time between replacements.

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