The Washington Post answers Reagan’s question

Posted by: Phineas on August 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Obama’s economic recovery adviser

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?

PS: Romney-Ryan 2012, because I want someone in charge who can see that the private sector is not doing fine.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “The Washington Post answers Reagan’s question”


  1. alanstorm says:

    “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?”

    Good question. Unfortunately, you had to be brain-dead 4 years ago to vote for him, and it’s doubtful any of that 53% have become smarter.

  2. Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago?

  3. Carlos says:

    What isn’t pointed out in the article is that the price of fuel is skyrocketing now. That won’t even show up in a meaningful way for another two or three months, possibly long enough for our sleaze-chief to ignore it.

    Once again, the signs at gas stations are full of the $4.00+ indications that our “leaders” have screwed us over yet one more time, forcing us to enhance the coffers of those who sponsor terrorism, and the corporate welfarists who take our tax dollars without regard for what is best for our country.

    It forces the price of everything, local, regional or national, higher. And, even with the drought debacle, they are still forcing gas companies to produce the same insane enhanced-with-ethanol gas that should be at the top of every envirowhacko’s list of things to get rid of.

  4. Splendiferous says:

    Never once did they mention the President’s name in the article. They do write about the poor economy occasionally but they will not tie the President to it. I am surprised that they did not mention that it Bush’s fault. Usually there is a paragraph or headline that starts “Some say Bush still at fault”. Obama is the most economic illiterate and ignorant President in my lifetime. You can take every thing he knows about economics and put it in a thimble and there will still be 99.5% of the volume remaining.