How Biden's economy stacks up against every president's since Eisenhower
- President Biden is, so far, handily outscoring most post-war presidents in guiding the US
- Only Presidents Johnson, Carter, and Kennedy enjoyed stronger
GDP growthin their first term.
- But such comparisons come with massive caveats.
The government revealed on Thursday the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.5% in the second quarter. The figure marked the second-largest jump in
The report gave Biden an attractive economic scorecard to campaign on, despite the figure falling well short of estimates. The president cheered the
Despite being just one full quarter old, the Biden economy is already outpacing those of most past presidencies. President Lyndon Johnson saw the strongest growth in his first term, and President Jimmy Carter followed close behind. President John F. Kennedy is the last of the three to surpass Biden. On the other end of the spectrum, Presidents Barack Obama, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan were the only post-war presidents to see growth decline in their first terms.
But such comparisons come with tremendous caveats. For one, GDP is inherently flawed. The gauge doesn't track non-market transactions, income inequality, or the sustainability of growth. Some economists prefer gauges like gross domestic income or the Genuine Progress Indicator to get a more holistic view of the US economy.
The gauge is also influenced by events out of each presidents' control.
Conversely, Biden has benefitted massively from this year's rebound. He entered office mere weeks after the first COVID-19 vaccine received emergency authorization. Rolling out vaccines allowed the country to quickly reopen and powered a swift economic rebound.
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