UNDERSTANDING US FINANCIALS
While I recommend everyone try to understand US financials I did not find it easy at first. It is easy to jump to conclusions. As I say on the recent 20 year history, that this was my third time revising my opinion of it. There are a number of issues each financial period to look at. Sometimes presidents and or congress are given peace in their time - no wars, no recessions. Other presidents and or congresses have been given either wars or recessions, and some both - and then the question becomes - can they? did they? fix it?
Now as I like to say, I belong to neither political party. If I did before I also say that after seeing US Financials I could no longer belong to a political party. The reason is that history does not make either party look like a star. And so at this point, I can say with a clear conscience that I can look directly at the data not looking for a winner, but simply trying to understand it. Science tells us that a good scientist should keep an open mind, and never ever begin with the conclusion they want to see. And as much as possible, I would also suggest that you keep an open and fair mind.
Now for reality, with a few exceptions I really do not think many presidents have caused the recessions. So blaming them for recessions is sort of tongue in cheek. Recall also that our second to the last recession was 9/11 hitting the US transportation industry and vacation and convention industries quite hard. I do not think any of our presidents flew planes into towers. In our US history, our founders and those before us sort of knew that no human, no president can know everything. So they provided that the president could have a cabinet of experts. If the president chooses the correct cabinet to help them, maybe they have a chance. But history shows that not every president chose the best folks to guide them. But either way, no human is going to be an expert on every field. So blaming a president totally for finance, or for education or for military strategy at best is an unfair stretch. But what might be fair is - what did they do about the problem after they saw it? Did they fix the recession or other issue?
Oddly I find some things do not even show up well on the graphs - such as wars. Wars must add costs, but they seem small potatoes usually between the recessions and recoveries. So keep in mind that small stuff may not even be visible on these large type of charts.
Also be clever and fair. At one point I noted that Jimmy Carter seemed to have the best GDP (economic) growth. I was about to mentally give him an award when I found the next data that included inflation. Nope, inflation made his numbers look good. True economy growth he had perhaps was not bad, but also not stellar. So be careful on thinking items out. Since there is inherent inflation now in the US, we also need to be concerned on what will that do to truth in numbers and charts?
Also we need to be careful of our choice of words and inferences. I have often heard that Bill Clinton left office with a surplus. Nope. US debt was about $5.6 trillion when he left, and that huge of a debt to me is not a surplus. I think of a surplus as money laying around and that was not the case. It is true when you look at the curves that Bill Clinton, a Democrat, working with a Republican Congress did achieve "profit" for about three years - meaning for those years, money coming in was greater than money going out. But alas it was not good enough to cover his other 5 or so years and so the Bill Clinton average loss adding to the debt was about $107 billion per year on the average. But do not boo. You will see that that loss is much better than the last two presidents. In fact if the US were only doing $107 billion loss per year, we might in fact not even care about debt - sad to say - since it could be covered easily.
What on the charts are valid? The data comes directly from US sources, mostly the US Department of Commerce. In order to avoid error, I do not even retype the data but copy and paste the data into the graphs. So, not much chance of error. Of course comments are mine and of course a different person might have different comments.
Hope you enjoy looking at the graphs, while keeping an open mind, and try to come to real answers. If one can find the truth ... fascinating... and I notice that it is nothing at all as I hear on TV.