Who Owns 2001?

These charts all show 2001 as both a Clinton year and a Bush year. Whatever credit or blame is to be assigned, it is shared.

Why? When a president with a new economic agenda takes office the country is still living with the former president's agenda. Campaign promises must be pushed into both houses of Congress, legislation passed in both houses and then in compromise committee and finally signed by the president.

Some changes take place in anticipation of the new agenda. Other changes take place only over some period of time after the new legislation is enacted.

As a general rule, assigning 2001 to both presidents seems sensible. That is not to say that for individual economic series a more specific judgment is not valid. View each chart critically and make up your own mind.

Example: Dow Industrials down in 2001. Which president? Neither. It was Osama bin Laden's 9/11/2001 atrocity.