Ronald Reagan met Jimmy Carter in their one and only debate a week before election day in 1980. At the end, Governor Reagan asked a question of the viewers and with it, some say, decided the race:
Now, 32 years later (has it been that long??) The Washington Post has answered that question for us: No way, no how.
Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.
From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.
Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The recession, the most severe since the Great Depression, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.
Overall, median income is 7.2 percent below its December 2007 level and 8.1 percent below where it stood in January 2000, when it was $55,470, according to the report.
But wait, there’s more! The median net worth of families declined nearly 40%, from $126,000 to $77,000, a level not seen since 1992. Blacks saw their income decline more than twice as much as Whites and Hispanics, a grim achievement for the first African-American elected to the presidency. Households that derive most of their income from the self-employed now have to make due with almost ten percent less. The only people who have done better, not surprisingly, are those collecting government checks.
Read the whole thing; it’s a horror story as much as a news article, and its key point cannot be driven home hard enough — for the average American, the “recovery” has been worse than the recession.
I’ve seen it written before that recessions caused by financial crises, as was the last one, take longer to recover from than those arising from industrial slowdowns. And, I’ll grant, Obama did inherit a bad situation, once made worse by the mistakes of the late Bush administration — TARP, the initial auto bailouts, &c.
But Obama is responsible for his administration’s policies since taking office, and he owns in its entirety the nation’s economic performance since June, 2009, when the recession ended and the so-called recovery began.
And that is a record of doing exactly the wrong things, resulting in a miserable failure that shows no sign of improvement — and may well get worse.
If you aren’t doing better that you were four years ago, if in fact your situation is objectively worse, then why on Earth would you vote for Obama?
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)