Obama vs. Reagan Household Income

There is much debate as to the ‘effectiveness’ of the current administration’s economic performance as it relates to Americans’ ‘general well being’. Ideally, the Federal Government would have minimal influence in this area regardless of who is president. This has not been the case since FDR’s New Deal transformed America to a nation whose economy is managed by the federal government.

However, some presidents have been more successful than others in policy that improves the lives of Americans.  One can see this by examining the negative impact of president Obama’s Marxist leanings and compare Obama’s economy with that of another president who also faced a severe recession at the beginning of his first term – that being Ronald Reagan.

To make the comparison I examined household income of each quintile of households using  www.census.gov (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements) and let Excel calculate the percentage of income growth for each quintile during each president’s tenure. ((Pres_Year – Prev_year)/Pres_Year))

Here are two bar charts showing the performance of each president. One can clearly see Americans have not fared as well under president Obama as they did under president Reagan.


Obama Household Income Growth % y/y


Reagan Household income % growth y/y


2 thoughts on “Obama vs. Reagan Household Income

    1. Beyond my deeply held feelings that president Obama has not served America well, I like you would venture a guess FED policies are not positive influences either. However, even more troubling is what these polices have done to our nation over the years. Americans, both in the public and private sectors are addicted to the FED’s opiates of ZIRP, QE etc. It makes me wonder if America could survive withdrawal from its addiction to debt enabled by the FED.

      What happens if the FED raises rates and cleans its balance sheet? What will become of our addicted economy? Given the $18T, national debt, the $1.2T and $1.8T of state and local debt, the $16T of personal debt and of course, the $1.3T of debt taken by students to obtain their BAs! Additionally, in the last few years, corporate debt has also ballooned. This large debt overhang sets up a dangerous situation if we have to give up our FED fix.

      To that end, FED withdrawal would be less painful if Obama’s policies had given us a robust economy.


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