A little while ago, I provided a list of who I thought were the ten best Presidents. I gave a little talk there about what makes good and bad Presidents, so I will just jump into it here.
1. Andrew Jackson
Trail of tears. Do I need any other justification?
2. James Buchanan
He only let the country devolve into the brink of civil war. I believe in succession and all, but as an executive, he should have handled the situation better.
3. Teddy Roosevelt
The first full-out progressive President. He was the first President to take a serious hammer to free markets and free enterprise and pushed the government into the market economy.
4. Woodrow Wilson
He got us into World War One, leading over one hundred thousand Americans to their deaths in an unnecessary and pointless war for America.
5. Herbert Hoover
Contrary to popular opinion, Hoover was a very interventionist President. This president laid the foundation for FDR’s New Deal by jacking up spending, increasing taxes, and raising tariffs.
6. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
He extended the Great Depression by seven years. Enough said.
7. Lyndon B Johnson
His poor handling of the Vietnam War and his Great Society programs put him on this list. Vietnam was a good war which should have been won, and the Great Society gave us the modern welfare state.
8. Richard Nixon
Watergate and obstruction of justice, the bombing of Cambodia, price controls. He did some good, but I think the bad was too much.
9. George W Bush
An interventionist foreign policy, which did little good but increased spending and cost American lives. On the domestic front, little good was done, with his response to the recession being Obama-lite. Earlier in his Presidency, he oversaw the expansion of welfare and No Child Left Behind.
10. Barack Obama
I think many conservatives become hyperbolic when they call Obama the worst but he was bad. An incoherent foreign policy, increased regulations, massive deficits, anemic growth, low labor participation, and the destruction of the American healthcare system are all massive black marks. His administration pushed a government takeover of the internet through net neutrality, and a takeover of American backyards by claiming he could regulate something as small as puddles.
Update: A previous version of this article said four and a half million Americans died in World War One. That error was corrected.