Are we better off now than we were 4 years ago?

This question, posed at the RNC has received a plethora of responses from a wide variety of individuals, but, are they looking at the big picture here, or just the data that suits them? Are people considering the entire country, or, just being selfish and looking at themselves? The point of the question was to get individuals to consider the reality (and yes, it is a reality) that we are still in a freefall, and, we never actually left. Better? Worse? Well, let’s take a look at a few things, and figure it out, shall we?

Employment:
I don’t care what  Obama tells you, we’re still worse off than we were 4 years ago (September 2008). Even from when he took office in 2009, still worse off . The government’s own data supports this. Sorry, kids, but there’s no denying that we are at a much, much higher rate of unemployment than we were 4 years ago. This data doesn’t even consider the people who gave up looking for work, it only  takes into account the individuals in this country actively seeking work.  Now, I kknow what you’re going to try to tell me next…

But, Tom, we’ve been creating more jobs

Guess what? You’re right, we have beeen creating jobs. However, as of today we are still  at a net loss  for jobs. Of course, any individual with a head for business knows why we’re at a loss for jobs, but, unlike some in political office, I’m not going to play the accusatory, blame game. Just state the facts

Housing Market:
The U.S. housing market is actually better off now than it was 4 years ago. However, the numbers for this only start to look up a month or two ago, and the outlook is very, very slight. How slight? Home values are expected to raise about 2.5% this year. That’s NOT a lot of growth there, considering how much they fell in ’08

Misery Index:  (from Wikipedia)

The misery index is an economic indicator, created by economist Arthur Okun, and found by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation create economic and social costs for a country 

This is kept track of from President to President . The higher the rating, the worse it is (ie: the more miserable the country is).
Reagan – Started out at 19.33 , ended up down at 9.72, a net LOSS of 9.61 points. This is good
Bush Senior –  Started out at 10.07, ended up at 10.23. Not good, but not a ton of addition there.
Clinton –  Started out at 10.56, ended up at 7.529 . A net LOSS of 3.27 points. Again, this is good
Bush Junior – Started out at 7.93 , ended up at 7.49 . Net loss of about .44 . Like daddy, not great, but not bad.
Obama  – started at 7.73   , as of today at 9.9 . A net GAIN of 2.17 points (so far)

Again, looking back at these figures, we are not  better off than we were 4 years ago . As a whole, the country is much, much more miserable than we were 4 years ago.

Taxation
If Obamacare is considered a tax (and SCOTUS says it is so, so it is), then we are being taxed more than we were 4 years ago. In fact, employers will be looking to relieve employees of positions when this fully takes it’s place , in 2014 (ish), as they will have to either pay for healthcare, pay fines, or let employees go. This is a no brainer, from the business perspective. As far as taxes are concerned, we are not better off, as a whole.

Credit Rating
In 2008, this country’s credit rating was AAA . Last year, that got downgraded to AA+, due to partisan bickering, and nobody actually taking charge and finding a real, realistic solution. Just last week, that got dropped AGAIN, to AA, due to the Fed introducing QE3 . No question, this is not better off, by a long shot. Our currency being devalued at a repeatedly rapid rate is not a laughing matter, by any means.

National Debt
When Bush took office, the national debt was at $5.7 trillion.  Contrary to popular (misinformed) belief, Clinton did not leave a surplus in this area. He did work with Republicans to come up with a plan to balance that out, however, 9/11 happened, and, well, we all know what happens with the greatest plans when catastrophe comes in.  When Bush LEFT office, the national debt was at 10.6 trillion. This means that Bush added 5 trillion to our debt. Not a small amount by any means, but, consider that was over 8 years. Today (September 17th, 2012), that national debt is at 16.04 trillion. This means, that by the time his first term i over, Obama will have added 6 trillion to our debt. There’s no question Bush was an insane spender. Then again, look at Obama. The man has added more debt than Bush ,  and he’s not even done with his first term yet.

 

As I said earlier on, I’m not going to turn this into a he said, she said thing. No blame is apportioned anywhere, we all know that both parties got us where we were today. If you can’t admit your party’s responsibility, then you, my friend, have blinders on. The reality is that we, as a country, are in a much, much worse position than we were 4 years ago, and some sort of change is necessary here. We can’t keep going over and over the same cycle, because if we do this, well, we are not ever going to get out of the place we’re in. We need experienced leadership in government, not partisan bickering. We need people to pull their heads out of their asses and stop the blame game. We need people to just STFU and GIFD (look ’em up if you don’t know). If we don’t, our creditors are going to come knocking down our doors with humongous Chinese and Asian sledgehammers. You think you don’t like your life NOW? Just wait. Austerity is not a pretty sight people.

I don’t care if you vote for Romney or Obama. I don’t care if you don’t like Romney’s religion, or Obama’s blame game. I really don’t give a shit. Just get out there and make an informed decision about who to vote for. Do your own research, as to who is better to run this country.  Don’t make that decision based on a man’s color, religion, financial status, or the like. Doing so is just prejudicial and wrong. NONE of these speak to a man’s (or woman’s) ability or inability to lead. NONE of these speak to anything but that person’s choices in life, and that, folks, when you look at it has nothing to do with their leadership at all. It’s all just a personal choice.  Don’t ‘write someone in’, that’s a ridiculously cheap way out of the system, and yes, that does waste a vote. Think I’m wrong? See Swing Vote and get back to me. YES, folks, it is entirely possible for one vote to make that much of a difference.

 

Till next time,

 

Tom

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