Republicans and business interests have been relentless in their whining about how B. Hussein Obama has the “job creators” cowering under a reign of terror, what with his socialist policies and hostile rhetoric. But how have the monied been voting their approval or disapproval in one of their favorite venues, the stock market?
There, Obama’s approval rating looks even higher than Gallup’s version. Obama is now in the 40th month of his reign. Compared with the same spots in other presidential terms since 1945, Obama’s stock market is the third best, beaten only by Clinton’s second term and Eisenhower’s first. (See graph, below.) Adjusting for inflation has little effect on the rankings.
Since the beginning of Obama’s term in office in January 2009, the S&P 500 is up 60%—twice the average of all the 18 presidential terms since Roosevelt’s third. (Adjusting for inflation, Obama’s score is three times the average.) These results are not particularly surprising. The 40-month average for Democratic presidents is 36%; for Republicans, 24%. Still, Obama’s 60% is nearly twice his party’s average.
Of course, stock market returns have little to do with human welfare. In fact, you could argue that the boom in corporate profits—the fundamental reason for the strength in the stock market—has come at the expense of the working class, whose wage and salary income have gone approximately nowhere over the last three years. (Since the recession ended, profits have risen at almost eight times the rate of wages; in a “normal” recovery, they’d have risen less than three times as much.) But the notion that Obama has been “bad for business” is a hard case to make—not that it will stop it from being asserted.