Many readers would think that if a leader today said a section of the US Economy is “doing just fine,” it must be a reference to the government sector after billions of dollar in spending has caused it to grow beyond belief. Yet, President Obama was actually talking about the private sector when he made this comment last Friday. The President told a group of reporters, “The truth of that matter is that... the private sector is doing just fine."
Sadly, such is not the case. Here are some reality checks for those in Washington, DC, looking out and thinking things are just fine:
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 million people are now either out of work, underemployed, or have given up looking for work altogether;
- The unemployment rate has remained at or above 8% for 40 months in a row;
- Since President Obama took office, the average duration of unemployment has doubled from 19.8 weeks to 39.7 weeks;
- According to the Department of Agriculture, since President Obama took office, the number of Americans receiving food stamps has increased by 45% from 31.9 million to a record 46.4 million;
- Half (49.1%) of the population are living in a home in which at least one member is receiving some type of government assistance;
- The median household income has dropped by more than $4,000;
- According to Lender Processing Services last month 5.6 million home mortgages were either 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure;
- The real estate web site service Zillow reports that nearly one-third of all home mortgages (31.4%) today are upside down (owners owing more than their home is actually worth);
- In the last three years, the national average for gas prices have climbed from $1.84 to $3.61.
The White House and many in the media quickly covered for the President. They said that his comments were taken out of context. He knows that the economy isn’t doing fine and that was why he had the press conference in the first place.
It will be interesting to see if this was just a fleeting gaffe or something that haunts the President’s re-election campaign for a while. We have a new poll question on this subject at our web site here: www.afain.net