Lasting Legacies: Looking at the Long-Term Impact Presidential Policies have on the National Economy
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It is clear that presidents, in their unique position as sole leaders of an entire branch of the federal government, have vast powers at their disposal to utilize during their time in office. It is also clear that the occupants of the White House have always kept one eye on the task at hand and another on how they were shaping their own legacy. As voters and scholars continue to find greater reason to recognize the lasting impact of these legacies on the public, a new standard must be developed to evaluate presidential performance in the long-term. This study provides a framework for such an evaluation. This tool, the Framework for Long-term Economic Examination (or FLEX), is used to determine that a president has the power to influence the long-term national economy through the office’s policymaking powers. It also goes further and ranks modern presidents on their success in utilizing these powers to create positive economic change in the long-term. The findings from using FLEX provide a discernable path to move presidential studies forward. It also provides predictions around, and guidance for, the actions future presidents may take in order to have a long-lasting impact on the economy, and, thus, their own legacy.