The Worst President Since Before the Civil War

Three years ago, the people of the United States elected someone who has turned out to be the worst president since the pre-Civil War era.  Barack Obama, whether in economic matters, domestic affairs or international relations, has been an abject failure and has severely jeopardized the future of the American people. 

This must be the focus and message of those seeking the Republican presidential nomination, who must not allow themselves to be focused on demeaning each other and sidetracked by falling for the usual tactics of the Democrat and media smear machines (epitomized by the latest specious attack on Herman Cain).

A cursory examination of Obama's overall record compared with other presidents reveals someone driven purely by statist ideology, whose narcissism renders him incapable of change regardless of the long-term consequences.  He does not seem to care what happens to the American people.

Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt faced far worse economic conditions when they came into office than were in play when Barack Obama was elected president.  Yet with one a fiscal conservative (Ronald Reagan) and the other (Franklin Roosevelt) a liberal Democrat, even though they pursued differing solutions to the dilemmas at hand, neither put the nation squarely and inexorably on the road to bankruptcy and second-class status.

Barack Obama and his apologists continuously claim that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression and that if it were not for his policies presently in place, matters would be far worse.  The reality is that he did not inherit the worst economy since the 1930s, and his policies have diminished the standard of living for the majority of Americans.  

The actual factors in play for Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Franklin Roosevelt when they assumed office were as follows:


Annual GDP Growth

Unemployment Rate


Barack Obama




Ronald Reagan




Franklin Roosevelt




For the average American, the employment numbers are the most critical.  The following chart is a side by side comparison of the employment situation for Barack Obama as of Election Day 2008 versus the present day after three years of his failed policies:


    November 2008

      October 2011


Unemployment Rate




Total Employment

      144.25 million

       140.07 million

       -4.18 million

Employment-Goods Producing sector

  20.9 million                  

 18.1 million

 -2.8 million

Part-time Workers (Only Jobs Available)

 1.57 million

 2.9 million


Unemployed 27 Weeks or more

 2.2 million

 6.3 million

 +4.1 million

Avg. Weekly Wage (inflation adjusted)





How does Barack Obama compare to some of his predecessors, who inherited far more severe financial crises?  As a further comparison, while he did not inherit a financial crisis, Jimmy Carter is included, as he is considered by many the worst president in the post-World War II era, and many of his policies triggered the massive recession and inflation inherited by Ronald Reagan.

(Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics changed its method of calculating the unemployment rate in 1994.  Therefore, in order to make this a more valid comparison, those workers the BLS considers discouraged and marginally attached to the labor force and therefore not part of the unemployment rate calculation have been added below.)


Unemployment Rate as of Election Day

Unemployment Rate Three years later


Barack Obama




Ronald Reagan



             -  9

Jimmy Carter




Franklin Roosevelt




Barack Obama has chosen uncontrolled and unbridled government spending, much of it directed to his cronies and fellow ideologues, as his solution to restarting the economy.  This has created an enormous amount of new debt for the nation with nothing to show for it.  One of his predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt, also chose that route as part of his plan to rescue the American economy.  However, he never took it to the extreme that Obama has done, with the aid of his allies in the Democratic Party.  During Obama's tenure, he has added over $4,000 billion ($4 trillion) to the national debt.

Using the historical actual deficits as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) applied to today's GDP, the comparison would be as follows (Herbert Hoover has been added, as he faced the actual massive collapse of the economy in 1929, the first year of his term.)


Average Deficit as % of GDP First Three Years of Term

(2011 Dollars) Additional National Debt

Barack Obama


             $4,005 Billion

Ronald Reagan



Franklin Roosevelt



Jimmy Carter



Herbert Hoover




The ultimate measure of the success or failure of a president's economic policies is the growth of the nation's Gross Domestic Product while facing economic headwinds.  Here, too, Barack Obama cannot measure up to those who faced enormous challenges, as his policies and regulatory obsession have shown him to be an anti-capitalist ideologue with more in common with the Occupy Wall Street Movement than with the American people.


      Barack Obama

     Ronald Reagan

   Franklin Roosevelt

Actual inflation adjusted GDP Growth First Three Years




It should be noted that Franklin Roosevelt, after re-election in 1936, began to pursue more statist policies including demonizing the rich, higher taxes, passing union-friendly legislation, and additional government spending, so that by the third year of his second term, the GDP had contracted by 6.5% and unemployment rose to 19.0% from a low of 14.0% in 1937.  Yet the annual budget deficit as a percent of GDP averaged 3.85% for Roosevelt's first two terms as compared to Obama's 9.23% to date.  (

By any measure, Barack Obama is not only a failure in his economic policies, but he is, in the aggregate, the worst steward of the American economy since economic measurements began to be recorded.  

It is little wonder that his re-election strategy is centered on demonizing his potential opponents and deliberately appealing to the base nature of the human race -- greed and envy -- as manifested in his class warfare rhetoric.  This is a record that cannot be defended under any circumstances, and one the Republicans must focus upon and unceasingly bring it before the American people.