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One President’s Economic Legacy Is His Successor’s Burden

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- As President Barack Obama has learned, the economic conditions left by a previous administration can be a heavy burden on a president’s record.

As I argue in my book, “The President as Economist: Scoring Economic Performance from Harry Truman to Barack Obama,” about half of any president’s economic performance depends on how much he improved or damaged the economy he inherited (as shown by the trends in economic indicators). The other half depends on how many good economic years the president racked up while in office (based on the averages of the same indicators).