In front of adoring crowds at one of his all-too-many campaign style events, President Obama has claimed that "By almost any measure, we are better off since I took office" or that America is stronger under his watch.
The problem with such statements is that they are factually untrue when looking at the broader state of our union.
Sure, the President can claim that overall unemployment is down from where it was when he took over the reins of government in January 2009. But, to get there, overall unemployment rose to a rate of 10% in the first year-and-a-half of his presidency. Something that the so-called "stimulus" was supposed to avoid by promising that the unemployment rate wouldn't go above 8%. Even now, 5 years passed the end of the official end of the recession, this country still has an unemployment rate that is a full point above pre-recession levels.
Our major cities have extraordinarily high unemployment rates. Chicago, Obama's home town, is still at 8.0%; and, that's just recently down from a January 2014 rate of 9.6%. Detroit, now in bankruptcy, had an unemployment rate of 17.7% in July. A city like Atlantic City, that depends heavily on Americans spending leisure-time money, is suffering from cash-strapped tourists unable to indulge in what they have to offer. The casinos are closing and the unemployment rate sits at 13.7%. More worrisome is the fact that our three largest cities -- Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago -- are dangerously close to following Detroit into bankruptcy.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is stuck at a 5-year growth rate of about 2%. This is, at least, the worst recovery since World War II and, some say in the history of the United States when using alternate methods of calculating GDP.
Then there's the overall economic health of America. For 5 straight years the median incomes of this country have fallen and income inequality has risen to a record high. Half the jobs created under this President's watch were low income/low paying. When he took office, only 30 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, that number is 47 million; a 56% increase. Similarly, only 38 million Americans were living in poverty. Today, that number is a record 47 million and has stood at 15 percent of the population for the last 2 years. Thus, as the population grows, so does the amount of people left in poverty.
Of course, the real elephant in the room is the amount of debt that Obama has left us with; a number that only gets worse by the day. At the beginning of his first term, the federal debt was $10.6 trillion. Today, it is closing in on $18 trillion; just $250 billion from the current number (as of this writing) of $17.756 trillion. A number that, for the first time in this nation's history, is greater than the total annual economic output of the country. Of those advanced economies in the world, only Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain can claim debt levels above their economic output. All of which are near bankruptcy and on the brink of bringing the European Union to its knees.
When we see people standing behind President Obama and nodding in agreement that things are better, you have to wonder what planet they're from. Most other Americans (74% in one poll) still think that we never recovered from the recession. And, in so many ways, they're right.
By almost any measure, we are better off since I took office: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/07/10/obama_by_almost_every_measure_we_are_better_off_than_when_i_took_office.html
Obama claims US is 'stronger' than 'when I first came into office' as economy weakens, debt soars, America loses global influence and border crisis deepens: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722926/Obama-claims-US-stronger-I-came-office-economy-weakens-debt-soars-America-loses-global-influence-illegal-immigrants-flood-border.html
Half Of The Jobs Created During The Recovery Were Low-Paying: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/14/2008591/jobs-recovery-low-paying-minimum-wage/
Chicago Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.0%: http://www.worldbusinesschicago.com/news/chicago-unemployment-rate-jul2014
Detroit Unemployment Rates: https://ycharts.com/indicators/detroit_mi_unemployment_rate
Unemployment rises in most US states in July: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140818/BIZ/308180072
Another Atlantic City Bust: Trump Plaza Closes: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/trump-plaza-4th-atlantic-city-casino-shutdown-25528499
3 huge cities flirting with bankruptcy: http://money.msn.com/investing/post--3-huge-cities-flirting-with-bankruptcy
Obama’s economic recovery: officially the worst in US history: http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/41366829334/obamas-economic-recovery-officially-the-worst-in-us
Median Income Falls For 5th Year, Inequality At Record High: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/median-income-falls-inequality_n_3941514.html
47 million Americans on food stamps: http://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2013/09/SNAP-participants.jpg
That’s rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/7/obamas-rhetoric-on-fighting-poverty-doesnt-match-h/?page=all
America's Poverty Rate Stuck At 15 Percent For Second Straight Year: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/poverty-america-census_n_3940812.html
74% said we are still in a recession: http://patch.com/new-hampshire/concord-nh/is-the-recession-over-yet#.VBR1qmNAVLU
U.S. Federal Debt Exceeds GDP: http://jamesviser.com/?p=995