In response to the commentary by Ray Holbrook (“Reelect President Donald Trump to save US from socialism,” The Daily News, July 15): The body of the article was a series of sensationalist claims of financial ruin and loss of freedom that will occur if a Democrat is elected president.
Let’s take a step back and look at an indicator of the health of the American economy over time during Republican and Democratic administrations.
The S&P 500 stock market equity index is perhaps the most prominent manifestation of capitalism that exists. And it is hard data, not an opinion.
Let us compare the performance of the S&P 500 between the last seven presidents going back 40 years. From the start of Donald Trump’s term to the end of January, a total of 37 months (and pre-COVID-19 market meltdown), the market had a return of 29.6 percent. Not bad. But compared to other past presidents — it’s not all that good either.
The list below shows the respective returns for each of the last seven presidents for the first 37 months of their term.
Percentage gain in S&P 500 for first 37 months, taken from Macrotrends.
• Barack Obama: 65.4 percent
• Bill Clinton: 46.0 percent
• George H. W. Bush: 38.7 percent
• Donald Trump: 29.6 percent
• Ronald Reagan: 21.2 percent
• George W. Bush: 16.2 percent
• Jimmy Carter: 11.4 percent
To demonstrate the above returns aren’t a fluke, we will consider the returns for each of the above presidents who served a full eight-year term.
• Bill Clinton: 211.3 percent
• Barack Obama: 175.9 percent
• Ronald Reagan: 129.6 percent
• George W. Bush: -39.5 percent
It’s unquestionably apparent from this data that having a Democrat as a president hasn’t been a problem for the economy. Joe Biden isn’t a socialist. In fact, he’s more conservative than either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.
If you were of the opinion that the character flaws of Donald Trump should be overlooked in order to save us from socialism, please review the stock market data and reconsider.