The "ownership society" did better under Clinton

Published September 3, 2004 3:29AM (EDT)

In the last few days, Republicans have talked up a storm about rising home ownership rates under the Bush administration. Bush was half right when he said in his acceptance speech that, "thanks to our policies, home ownership in America is at an all-time high."

While it's true that the percentage of Americans who own their own homes (69.2%) is at a record high, it's hard to attribute that to the current Republican leadership -- the rate has increased every year since 1993, and in fact, grew faster on average during the Clinton administration.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, When Clinton came into office, homeownership stood at 63.7%. Clinton left office with home ownership up 3.8% to 67.5%. Under Bush, it's gone up 1.7%.

In fact, since the mid 1960s, home ownership has typically gone up no matter who's in office, though a couple of presidents -- both Republican -- proved an exception: During the 12 years Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush were in office, ownership rates dropped 1.2%.

By Jeff Horwitz

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