**Posted by Phineas
Vice President Joe Biden is in Charlotte this week for the Democratic National Convention (1). At a rally, he struggled with the question of whether Americans are better off now than they were four years ago, when he and his boss were elected:
Looks like the heat was giving Joe some trouble, since he couldn’t go into any specifics. Let’s help him out, shall we?
According to that notorious conservative rag, The Washington Post:
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.
Over the past three years, the inflation-adjusted median income of households headed by whites was down 5.2 percent, to $56,255. Households headed by blacks sustained a staggering 11.1 percent drop in median income. Hispanic-led households saw their real income decline by 4.1 percent over the same period, the report said.
Looking at the data by age, the researchers found that income has risen only for workers older than 65 during the recovery, which report co-author and Sentier partner Gordon Green attributes to the cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.
Households led by the self-employed saw their income drop 9.4 percent, to $66,752, the report said. Households headed by private-sector employees saw wages drop by 4.5 percent, to $63,800, and households led by government workers saw median income decline by 3.5 percent, to $77,998, the report said.
Peter Ferrara, writing in Forbes, see this trend and calls in an accelerating downward spiral:
The problem is that Obama has only greatly accelerated everything Bush did wrong, and reversed everything Bush did right. So Obama’s spending has skyrocketed the federal budget by nearly one-fourth as a percent of GDP in just one term. Moreover, the Obama Fed has abandoned any semblance of control over monetary policy, buying most of the soaring federal debt issued to finance Obama’s record smashing federal deficits with newly printed money (actually created by computer record, a sort of cyberprinting). Of course, the whole point of Obama’s tax policy has been to more than reverse the Bush tax rate cuts, which is now already slated under current law to go into effect on January 1.
That is why it will all only get worse in a second Obama term, as the economy slides back into a double-dip recession in 2013 unless these Obama policies are swiftly reversed. I first began ringing alarm bells about that a year ago with the publication of my Encounter Books Broadside No. 25, Obama and the Crash of 2013. But now even the Washington establishment CBO is pealing the air raid siren as well.
Renewed, double-dip recession would mean unemployment rocketing back into double digits once again, the deficit exploding to over $2 trillion, the highest in world history by far, real wages and incomes declining even more, and poverty soaring further.
Obama has failed the poor as well as the middle class. Last year, the Census Bureau reported more Americans in poverty than ever before in the more than 50 years that Census has been tracking poverty. Now The Huffington Post reports that the poverty rate is on track to rise to the highest level since 1965, before the War on Poverty began. A July 22 story by Hope Yen reports that when the new poverty rates are released in September, “even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.” But a consensus survey of experts across the political spectrum indicates the poverty rate could soar from the current 15.1% to as high as 15.7%. “Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor,” Hope Yen reports.
Be sure to read all of Peter’s article. His conclusions about where we’re headed if we don’t make the right choices in this election are sobering, to put it nicely.
In other words, the Democratic Dream Team inherited a bad situation, made it worse and, if reelected, promise to take it from “bad” to “God-awful.”
No wonder Joe had to plead the heat: answering the question makes the Republicans’ case for them.
(1) Complete with Official Recycling Nags.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)