Are You Better Off than You Were Four Years Ago?
It’s a legitimate question every election.
The headlines would make it seem that this is one very extra important election.
Desperate people do desperate things.
Our country is not well. The Census Department saysÂ median income continued to fall in 2011. A separate analysis found that incomes are down almost 5 percent since the Obama â€œrecoveryâ€ beganâ€”illustrating that, despite what Bill Clinton might say, the Obama recovery is not a recovery at all. The drop in the unemployment rate from the recession high of 10 percent to the current 8.1 percent can be ascribed entirely to the decline in labor participation. Studies findÂ that aÂ majority of the jobs the economy has created are low paying. Economic growth is lagging. Itâ€™s likely to be below 2 percent for the second year in a row. Current and projected federal spending is unsustainable. Americans continue to think we are headed in the wrong direction.
Obama met with bipartisan congressional leadership early in 2009. Bob Woodward reports in The Price of Politics that Eric Cantor (R., Va.) handed him a list of Republican economic proposals. Not one of those proposals was included in the stimulus bill. At the health care summit in 2010, congressional Republicans suggested a variety of ways to improve the American health care system: for example competition through a national insurance marketplace, malpractice reform, and ending the tax penalty against individuals who buy insurance. Not one of those ideas was included in the health care bill.
For two years, the House Republicans have passed a budget that at the very least is an opening bid in a good-faith negotiation over spending and taxes. For two years, that budget has died in the Senate. The president says the House proposal is â€œantithetical to our entire history.â€ Then he castigates the Republicans for their â€œtendency to shoot first and aim laterâ€ and calls for civil debate.
This is the broken and anxiety-ridden world Barack Obama has made. Our adversaries are stronger. America and her allies are weaker. And yet, after spending practically a decade blaming every last thing, including the bad weather, on President Bush, the media seem determinedly uninterested in ascribing even the slightest amount of responsibility to President Obama.
REPORT: OBAMA Spent 412 hours in economic meetings, 600 hours on golf course