Partisan differences in macroeconomic priorities and performance have clearly had a very significant impact on the economic fortunes of American families over the past half century. Larry Bartels
In this post, I described the rise in income inequality in the U.S. during the past decades. Using Census Bureau data covering the period from 1948 to 2005, Larry Bartels’ book, Unequal Democracy, suggests that there is a much more egalitarian pattern of income growth under Democratic presidents than under Republican ones. So with Obama taking office, there is a possibility that the rise in income inequality will stop or even be reversed. At least his promised tax policies will, if implemented, be more egalitarian than McCain’s would have been (see here). Those who wonder why income inequality is a human rights issue can have a look here.
(As Mark Thoma points out here, this is more true for the first half of the period than for the second half).