Monday, September 24, 2012

Real GDP, the Past Eight Years, and the Years To Come

Real GDP for the past 8 years:

graph of quarterly real gross domestic product from 2004 through 2012 with color coding by party of President

Whatever else one may or may not read into this chart, it sure doesn't help the case for those who would say we should change ships back to the party of Bush II.

The Output Gap: real gross domestic product versus potential real gross domestic product 2004 to 2012

Of course, if one adds in potential GDP, essentially where the GDP ought to be right now if we were going to be back to "normal", we're clearly not done. It's roughly like we're going 45 in a 55 MPH zone. There's some serious work to be done to get the economy up to speed. So why has the debate been about how much to raise our foot off the pedal instead of how much further to press down?

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