I created a graph today that displays the control of the Senate from 1969 during Nixon through today. Also included in the graph is the Misery Index of the year that particular senate was in control. For example, the misery index for 1969 is really 1969 + 1970. For all who don't know, misery index is the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate.
An interesting trend in the graph is that the misery index seems to follow for the most part the democrat line. As democratic control increases, so does the misery index. As republican control increases, the misery index begins a steady decline. The two major Republican "bumps" in the chart show this trend
Look at the period between 1981 and 1985. (Reagan by the way) The misery index declined throughout the period, and republicans were in control throughout the period. The period of 1995 to 2001 has a similar effect, but as the republican majority begins to lessen, the misery index slightly increases.
In contrast, from 1971-1979, the Senate is under democratic control and the misery index increases sharply.
To double check and make sure that the trend I noticed was correct, I made a chart of the numbers used to make the graph.
The total number of the Misery Index under Republicans was 169.73
. The total number under democrats was 260.56.
I did not include 2009 in either. Republicans had the majority 9 times, and democrats had the majority 11 times. So...
(ironically, I notice 9/11 there. Anyone else think thats wierd? 9 republicans/11 democrats...weird...)
Anyway, the average misery index under republican control was 18.86.
The average under democratic control was 23.69.
The average of the entire time period was 21.51.
Republicans were below the average (which is good) and democrats were above it on average.
In conclusion, we can now say that a republican Congress is more likely to decrease inflation and unemployment than a democrat one. At least that is what modern history has shown us in the past 40 years.
My sources of information: