So, About The Trump Market

Since Presdient Trump got into office, he and his minions have been spouting off at how great the markets are doing under his presidency. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Each and every president inherits (among other things) the economy of their predecesor. Along with the economy, they also start their administration under the final budget of the previous president. The new fiscal year doesn’t start until October 1st of the year after their election. That is, for ANY president, the budget and economy don’t really reflect their fiscal policies until about a year after they take office. In the case of President Trump, that’s January 2018, for Obama it was January 2010, for Bush II, January 2002, etc.

Many people view the markets as a proxy for the state of the economy, and President Trump and his supporters definitely take that view. I’ve heard many, Many, MANY times from them something along the lines of “… the economy is going gangbusters, just look at the stock market!”.

So, let’s do just that.

You’ll find below a series of images. Each is a graph of the stock market from January 1st of the first year of a president’s economy (see discussion about fiscal year, etc. above) to December 31st of the last year of a president’s economy. The images are presented in reverse chronological order for the presidencies of Trump (January 2018 – present), Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan.


20180101 - Present Trump Market

  • Open: 24809
  • Close: 24456
  • -1%


20100101 - 20180101 Obama Market

  • Open: 10430
  • Close: 24719
  • +137%

Bush II

20020101 - 20100101 Bush II Market

  • Open: 10021
  • Close: 10428
  • +4%


19940101 - 20020101 Clinton Market

  • Open: 3754
  • Close: 10021
  • +167%

Bush I

19900101 - 19940101 Bush I Market

  • Open: 2748
  • Close: 3754
  • +37%


19820101 - 19900101 Reagan Market

  • Open: 1277
  • Close: 2753
  • +116%

Apples To Apples

So, comparing apples to apples, we’ll look only at the percentage increase or decrease under each president (with Trump through 6/22/2018).

  • Trump: -1%
  • Obama: +137%
  • Bush II: +4%
  • Clinton: +167%
  • Bush I: +37%
  • Reagan: +116%

What does this mean? Well, at least up until this point, it means that President Trump has been bragging on the economy of the end of Obama’s presidency… because his own economy is nothing to brag about. In fact, something interesting happens if you sort these by percentage (decending):

  • Clinton: +167%
  • Obama: +137%
  • Reagan: +116%
  • Bush I: +37%
  • Bush II: +4%
  • Trump: -1%

Not only does President Trump finish dead last, the Democrats have clearly, and unambiguously handled the economy better than the Republicans have (if you buy into the markets as a proxy for the economy orthodoxy).

BUT, I hear you say, it’s not fair to compare the whole tenure of previous presidents’ economies with only the first six months of President Trump’s, and there’s some truth to that. If we look at the first 6 months of the Obama economy, the results are actually quite similar to President Trump’s:

  • Open: 10431
  • Close: 10445
  • +0%

Basically stagnant. There is one huge difference, however. President Obama was dealing with the fallout of the Great Recession at the time while President Trump inherited an economy that had recovered and was booming (the boom continued throughout the first year of the Trump Presidency, but as I discussed above, that was actually part of Obama’s economony). So while President Obama turned things around after the Great Recession, President Trump has managed to squander much of the healthy economy that he inherited.

Time will tell if the economy will reverse course under President Trump as it did under Obama, but with trade wars looming, tarrifs growing, deficits exploding, health care costs increasing, and gasoline prices rising, it’s hard to see that happening.

Ed Rollins Grades Obama’s First 100 Days

From CNN:

Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, was political director for President Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Commentary: Is Obama a Clinton or a Carter? – give him high marks as the commander in chief. From retaining Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (one of the best in that job I can remember) to the symbolic inaugural “Commander-in-Chief Ball” (for members of our military) to his redefining the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has impressed many skeptics.

And by allowing the Navy SEALs in Somalia to take out the pirates and by authorizing the use of drones to take out the suspected Taliban terrorists in Pakistan, he showed that he is willing to make the tough decisions and allow our troops to engage.

I do strongly object to his running around the world with “I am sorry!” as his message in apology for American missteps, and I think he has to realize that high-level diplomacy is about taking sides. Not everybody will be — or wants to be — your friend. And we need to pick our friends carefully.

All I can say after 100 days is: Good start, Mr. President; I wish you well!

This is the kind of analysis I like. Ed Rollins, clearly a conservative, clearly a Republican (look at his credentials) is being a thoughtful critic, giving Obama high marks where he deserves it, and taking him to task for things that he hasn’t done well.

I’m getting really sick of hearing the Republican Attack Machine (henceforth known as RAM) make stupid accusations, call for impeachment, and try and make it sound as if Obama’s been doing a crappy job.

He hasn’t.

Have I agreed with everything he’s done? Nope. Is he a tremendous improvement over the last few President’s? So far, I’d say yes. He’s provided leadership as needed, made a bunch of touch decisions, and has helped improve our standing in the world.

Overall grade: B.
Domestic grade: Not sure… his spending scares the hell out of me.
International grade: A

Keep it up Mr. President (but try not to spend too much of our money… we can’t afford it).

Calif. Jobless Rate Jumps to 9.3%

From Economy:

Calif. Jobless Rate Jumps to 9.3%: California’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.3% in December as employers in the nation’s most populous state cut 78,200 jobs during the month.

Holy **expletive deleted**… almost double digits. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. Is it time to panic yet?

Please, please Mr. President… figure something out to help us out of this mess.

Obama Keeps His Blackberry

From Slashdot:

Obama Keeps His Blackberry (And Gets a Sectera): InternetVoting writes “After all the controversy surrounding Obama’s Blackberry, word has come that he will get to keep it. Few details are available and neither the National Security Agency nor the White House are talking. The current rumor is that the Blackberry will be used exclusively for personal use and a Sectera Edge will be used for official communications.”

Of course he will. If the most powerful man on the planet can’t get his tech crew to figure out how to secure his phone, then we have some truly serious technological problems!

Now, if we could just get him an iPhone… he’d be truly happy!

Obama Looking At Open Source?

From Slashdot:

Obama Looking At Open Source?: An anonymous reader writes “‘The secret to a more secure and cost effective government is through Open Source technologies and products.’ The claim comes from one of Silicon Valley’s most respected business leaders Scott McNealy, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems. He revealed he has been asked to prepare a paper on the subject for the new administration.”

This could be huge. I hope it’s true. If so, it could signal the end of the de facto Microsoft monopoly on office software, which can only be a good thing.

Inauguration of President Obama

I’ve never been as proud of being a citizen of the United States as I am today. Today is the [Jackie Robinson]( moment for our entire country, not just the national pass time.

From [Wikipedia]( The nation was initially divided on whether Robinson should be allowed to play. Virtually all blacks and many whites applauded the decision as long overdue, but a large number of whites also objected. Many major league players also objected. Most newspapers supported the move. Robinson’s integration and subsequent high level of play was a major blow to segregation and caused racial barriers to fall in other areas.

The culmination of this happens today.

Here’s a bit more context for todays events:

From [The United States Declaration of Independence]( We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

From [Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address]( Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…
this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

From [Martin Luther king’s I Have a Dream speach]( I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’

Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

I’ve been a supporter of [Barack Obama]( for a long time. As such, I’m having a huge problem with conservative commentators that are hoping for his total failure. I cannot understand this. I *do* understand how you, as a conservative (as I consider myself to be), would hope for **specific** policies that he may propose to fail to pass muster (for instance, a doubling of our income tax). But to hope for him, as our President, to fail, is hoping for the failure of our country, and that is as unpatriotic as can be imagined. Dissenting against policy is patriotic. Dissenting against our President is not.

* 11:33am: The coverage on [WGBH]( is fantastic.
* 11:33am: **Michelle Obama** just stepped on stage.
* 11:37am: President **George W. Bush** steps on stage. He got a (basically) warm welcome. Some boos. Stop it people… show some respect. Even if you didn’t like him or his politics, he’s our President (for a few more minutes).
* 11:40am: More dignitaries step on stage
* 11:41am: **Joseph Biden** steps on stage
* 11:43am: More dignitaries
* 11:44am: **Barack H. Obama** steps on stage. A huge swell of cheers greets him
* 11:47am: **Diane Feinsten** (yawn)
* 11:47am: … peaceful transition … the power of the ballot over the bullet …
* 11:49am: **Rick Warren** steps up to make the invocation.
* 11:50am: … celebrate a hinge point of history with the election of the first African American as President of the United States …
* 11:53am: thankfully nothing controversial
* 11:54am: It’s gone on a bit long though
* 11:55am: **Aretha Franklin** sings *My Country ’tis of Thee*
* 11:56am: I don’t like the Gospelization of anthems like this. Oh well. To each his own.
* 11:57am: She better hurry. Mr. President Obama needs to take the oath before 12:00pm!
* 11:58am: Senator **Robert Bennet** of Utah
* 11:58am: **John Paul Stevens*’ administers the oath of office to ‘*Joseph Biden**.
* 11:59am: *… I Joseph Biden do solemny swear…*
* 12:00pm: Performance of John Williams piece
* 12:01pm: Yikes… we don’t have a President!!!! at Noon, President Bush officially is no longer President, and President Obama hasn’t taken the oath yet.
* 12:06pm: **John Roberts** steps up to administer the Presidential Oath of Office
* 12:07pm: *I Barack Hussein Obama do solemny swear…*
* 12:08pm: I’m a little misty… President Obama!
* 12:09pm: Hail to the Chief

Time for the address.

* Thanks to President Bush (nice touch)
* Know this America… they WILL be met. YEAH.
* … time has come to set aside childish things…
* All are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness!
* greatness must be earned
* acknowledging the sacrifice of our forebearers
* we must start TODAY! Pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America
* a nation cannot prosper long when it only favors the prosperous
* we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals
* know that America is a friend to those who seek peace
* we will not apologize for our way of life
* the world has changed and we must change with it
* remembers the soldiers
* a return to our truths
* we have a duty to ourselves, our country, and the world
* George Washington: Let it be told to the future world

Beautiful speech.

Men in black on alert for snipers


Men in black on alert for snipers: Look up at any presidential event and you’re likely to see them: men dressed in black, armed to the teeth, looking back.

Well, I’d hope so. Of all the recent Presidents, I’d say that Obama has the highest chance of being assassinated in office… only because of the total stupidity of some racists in this country. They exist, we all know they do, and this week would be the highest visibility time for them to strike. I don’t think it’ll happen, and I hope and pray that it does not.

But, I understand why there’s going to be more security for this inauguration than there ever has been.

It’s O – 1 day


The Bush era is down to its last day. It’s been quite a ride. Bush inherited a budget surplus, and turned it into the largest deficit in history. He inherited a weakening economy, it went up for a while under him, but finally crashed to be the worst its been since the great depression.

He led us after 9/11, but then lead us into a war that should have never been. He vowed to make those responsible pay, and yet Osama bin Laden still lives.

His rhetoric was about compassionate conservatism, and yet he let New Orleans suffer after Katrina.

He entered the office with so much promise, only to fail to deliver on that promise.

Now, we’re getting Barack Obama. I’m very optimistic about our future under his leadership, but I don’t expect it to be a future without pain.

I can’t wait to hear his inaugural address. I’m betting that it’s short, and very inspirational with the overall theme being, it’s time to get to work.

Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax

From Economy:

Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax: Obama and congressional leaders plan to move soon to block the estate tax from disappearing in 2010.

Please, Mr. Obama, don’t do that. It’s just plain wrong for the government to take large parts of peoples’ estates after they die. The money has already been taxed (when it was first earned), and saved for the future generations of that family. My parents worked hard their entire lives, and saved for both their futures and mine. It’s not right that, after they die, the government takes this from them and their heirs.