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Presidents And Job Creation

October 1, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 40

Letters from Michael Heylin and H. Burnham Tinker presented differing views on which political party created more jobs (C&EN, June 25, page 4, and July 30, page 4). Heylin, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, found that during the past 64 years the Democrats were far better in job creation. Tinker, using the principle that the previous Administration is responsible for what happens early—that is, in the first two years of the new Administration—obtained the reverse conclusion.

I would like to add another factor that should be considered in regard to the issue of job creation: the increase in national debt. When Ronald Reagan was elected president, the national debt was $939 billion and unemployment was 7.2%. Upon leaving office, the values were $2.66 trillion and 5.3%. When President George H. W. Bush left office, the debt was $4.14 trillion and unemployment, 7.4%; for President Bill Clinton the figures were $5.66 trillion and 4.0%; and for President George W. Bush, $10.5 trillion and 9.9%.

Query For Readers

C&EN is working on a story about chemists and other chemical scientists who are working and living far away from their home and family due to the state of the job market. If you are in this situation and would be willing to share your story, please contact Susan Ainsworth at by Oct. 4.

It is clear that President Clinton provided the best results and President George W. Bush, the worst. Clinton increased taxes on the wealthy and held increases in the budget to 2% per year. George W. Bush drastically reduced taxes, mainly for the wealthy, and increased the budget 10–15% each year.

It should have been clear to President Barack Obama which policy to favor, but he made the mistake of allowing the Bush tax plan to continue for four more years.

By Abraham Clearfield
College Station, Texas



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