[Ed. – It’s the regulation, stupid.]
Even if you leave out the first quarter of 2009—when the recession that started in December 2007 was still ongoing–President Barack Obama has presided over the lowest average first-quarter GDP growth of any president who has served since 1947, which is the earliest year for which the Bureau of Economic Analysis has calculated quarterly GDP growth.
In all first quarters since 1947, the real annual rate of growth of GDP has averaged 4.0 percent.
In the seven first quarters during Obama’s presidency, it has declined by an average of -0.43 percent. And if you leave out the first quarter of 2009 and look only at the first quarters of the six years since the recession ended, it has averaged only 0.4 percent. …
But there seems something more at work here than climate patterns–or the Obama presidency.
Under previous presidents, real GDP sometimes grew massively during the first quarter. In 1950, under Truman, for example, GDP grew at an annual rate of 16.9 percent in the first quarter. In 1955, under Eisenhower, it grew at a rate of 11.9 percent.
Under Johnson, in the first quarters of both 1965 and 1966, it grew at a rate of 10.2 percent. Under Nixon, it grew at 11.1 percent in the first quarter of 1971, and 10.2 percent in the first quarter of 1973, it grew at 10.2 percent.
Under Ford, in the first quarter of 1976, it grew at 9.3 percent. Under Reagan, in the first quarter of 1984, real GDP grew at a rate of 8.2 percent.
But since 1984—more than three decades ago–there has been no first quarter, in any year, under any president, when real GDP grew even as fast as 5.0 percent. The closest it came was in the first quarter of 2006, when George W. Bush was president, and it hit 4.9 percent.
In the decades starting after World War II, average annual growth in GDP peaked in the 1960s. …
Should the long-term decline in U.S. economic growth be attributed to cold weather? Or should people in Washington, D.C., start looking around them for an anthropogenic cause.