Michelle Malkin and several other conservative bloggers are having a lot of fun with this particular statistic:

On Nov. 4, after Barack Obama clinched the White House, the market closed at 9,625.28.

In mid-morning trading today, the day President Obama signs his massive Generational Theft Act into law and a day before he unveils a massive new mortgage entitlement, the Dow dropped to to 7,606.53.

Now, imagine if President Bush had presided over a 2,000-point stock market tumble in the same time period — during the first few months of his presidency.

Great start, O.

As Steven Taylor, who is no Obama fan, points out, Malkin and those who’ve linked to her today are ignoring a very simple fact:

Without getting into anything else, I would note that Bush was still President from November 4, 2008 until noon on January 20, 2009. That comes out to 106 days between election day and today. Of that time, Bush was president roughly 78 days, 73.6% of the time in question while Obama has been president 28 days, or 26.4% of the time in question. So even accepting the notion that whomever is in the White House is directly responsible for the Dow (a dubious proposition, shall we say), Malkin can’t tag Obama with a 2,000 point slide.

And that becomes more apparently when you look at the charts, and the numbers.

First, here’s how the Dow Jones average has performed from November 4, 2008 through last Friday:


On November 4th the DJIA was at 9625.28, and it closed at 7850,41 on February 13th. That’s a drop of 1,774.71 points, or 18.44% since Election Day.

Second, here’s the chart for November 4th, 2008 through the last day of the Bush Administration, January 20th, 2009:

From 9625.28 on the November 4th, we fell to 7949.09 on Inauguration Day. That’s a drop of 1676.19 points, or 17.14% during the final months of the Bush Administration.

Finally, here’s how the Dow has performed since Obama took office:


From 7949.09 on Inauguration Day, we’ve fallen to 7850.41 as of last Friday. That’s a drop of 98.68 points, or 1.24%.

In other words, 94.49% of the drop in the Dow since Election Day occurred while George Bush was still President and doing things like, you know, bailing out the dinosaurs in Detroit.

And, oh yeah, the Dow was about 2,710 points lower when George Bush left office than it was when he entered. That’s a drop of 25.43%.

Taylor goes on to note:

[P]olitical and economic “analysis” along the lines of whatever happens on a given day is the fault of whoever is in the White House on that day is radically simplistic, if not patently ludicrous. Someone needs to tell Malkin that if that is way we are scoring things, then 9/11 is solely George W. Bush’s fault and Clinton gets all the credit for those budget surpluses back in the 1990s.

So, nice try Michelle, but you missed that one by a mile.

Originally posted at Below The Beltway

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