Are We Better off Now Than We Were Four Years Ago?

A question has been put forward that has the Obama administration struggling to answer. “Are we better off now than we were four years ago?” What seems like a simple question that is asked of any politician seeking re-election seems to be a stumbling block for President Obama and his campaign. Over the next few months the campaign will try to craft and spin an answer to that question while ignoring the reality. Here are just a few of the facts that should not be overlooked.

National Debt
2009: 10.6 Trillion
Now: 16 Trillion
Treasurydirect.gov

Food Stamps
2009: 32.2 million people enrolled
Now: 46.2 million people enrolled
Bloomberg.com

Unemployment
2009: 7.8%
Now: 8.3%
bls.gov

Median Household Income
2009: $54,983
Now: $50,964
forbes.com

Gas Prices
2009: $1.85
Now: $3.80
Consumerreports.org
eia.gov

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4 Responses to “Are We Better off Now Than We Were Four Years Ago?”

  1. This post is misleading in several ways:

    First let’s look at the national debt. Many economists think that this debt is actually good for our economy, and that we haven’t made a recovery because we haven’t increased the government deficit enough. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/07/31/government-cutbacks-separate-this-expansion-from-others/?mod=WSJBlog; http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/the-secret-of-our-un-success/

    Second, let’s look at gas prices. My first question is, “What exactly does the President have to do with gas prices.” Typically, Republicans talk about how bad it is for the government to interfere with private business. If we blame the President for gas prices, isn’t that saying that the government should interfere with private business? Additionally, I wonder why the data is taken from two different sources. In fact, it creates less of a disparity when we take both points in time from the eia. Yes, there has been an increase in gas prices, but we also see that the point in time taken is one of the lowest prices in the Bush administration. However, we also should note that these prices are not adjusted for inflation. http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2012/apr/19/american-energy-alliance/did-obama-policies-alaska-solyndra-and-keystone-co/; http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec9_6.pdf

    Finally, let’s look at the Carter and Obama video. Obviously this confuses government debt and trade deficit. The Republicans tend to blast the Democrats for government deficit. I have heard very little about trade deficit. Actually, when the economy tends to be bad, the trade deficit tends to decrease. On the other hand, when the economy is bad, government deficit tends to increase. As discussed above, many economists think that government deficit is a tool to help the economy recover in times of recession. Additionally, this video has Carter saying that this is the first time people think the economy will be worse in five years than better. Obviously, if Carter said it, today would not be the first time people have thought that. The first time they would have thought that would be under the Carter administration.

  2. @ doug “What exactly does the President have to do with gas prices.” Appointing an energy secretary that believes things like this:

    “Somehow,” Chu said, “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73138.html#ixzz25hWAhYTO
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73138.html

    When you have Czars, and a president that doesn’t like/believe in the constitution. He can do quite a bit.

  3. @doug if debt is good for the country then why did President Obama call George Bush unpatriotic for $4 trillion in debt? If debt is good then why isn’t Europe doing better?

    Government Spending as a percentage of GDP is 25% the highest since WW2 http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/07/government-spending-as-a-percentage-of-gdp-2/

    As the debt grows the interest payments will consume more. Paul krugman is hardly an objective economist. He’s already said that the question of whether or not we are better off now then four years ago is a stupid question.

  4. Let’s face facts Obama and his administration have committed more crimes against the American people than any other administration in the history of this nation. If debt is good for the nation then the people of the nation should be doing great. If Obama’s actions have been good for this nation than why is it that this nation has suffered irreparable damage under this administration including the deaths on U.S. border patrol agents at the hand of weapons provided by our DOJ. The list of continuing issues with this administration is seemingly endless Face facts Obuthead is the worst thing that has ever happened to this nation and the Number one reason WE THE PEOPLE should overthrow this corrupt and criminal farce of a government. If we don’t do it now then may god have mercy on us because the future generations of this nation won’t.

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