WaPo: No, you’re not better off than four years ago

posted at 10:01 am on August 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Thirty-two years ago, Ronald Reagan asked voters a simple question that devastated Jimmy Carter’s chances for a second term, and that presidential candidates have had to answer ever since: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?  In 1980, voters overwhelmingly said no and gave Carter the heave-ho.  When times are good, incumbents ask that question, and when times are bad, challengers ask it.  It’s a personal question, one that has a different answer for each voter.

Overall, though, the Washington Post reports that the answer isn’t just no, but hell no.  Household incomes have dropped 4.8% during the Obama recovery, and are now at a level below the recession:

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.

But — but — but — Obama inherited this decline, right?

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.

And while the decline differs by employment type, it turns out no one is better off than they were at the beginning of the recovery.  However, one class managed to do less worse than the others:

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.

Yes, you read that right.  Government-worker households earn 17% more than the self-employed, and 22% more than private-sector workers.  They also suffered less of a decline than those other classes of workers.

What did Barack Obama say at the beginning of summer?

The truth of the matter is that the Obama “recovery” feels like a recession because on a household-income basis, it is.  And compared to the private sector, it’s the public-employee households that are “doing fine,” at least relatively speaking.


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What are the odds that WaPo still endorses Obumbles?

steebo77 on August 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Blast from the past dept.

Are you better off now than you were two years ago?

Absolutely.

crr6 on May 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM

But what does any of this have to do with Sandra Fluke’s ability to get free birth control?

Flange on August 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

“Abortion, contraception, rape-rape”
/Dems

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Let’s hear the Seamus shaggy-dog story again.

Drained Brain on August 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Romney needs to ask the same question Reagan did.

Unless you are a government worker or a welfare queen like libfree, the answer will be No.

CorporatePiggy on August 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Hey everyone look over here! Romney didn’t release his tax returns!!!

VinceOfDoom on August 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

The Romney Death Star is just itching to fire…

OT: Has anyone seen that new Obama doc from D’Souza? I just noticed it’s playing here, so I might check that out this weekend.

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

I don’t care…

Obama is Awesome.

Electrongod on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

They ought to become known as the groin, groan and grope party!
Say that one five times fast.

Don L on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

B… but Akin… TODD AKIN!!!!

crazy_legs on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

It’ll be interesting to see what the new ‘big lie of the day’ will be to deflect this.

CPT. Charles on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

In a recent Rasmussen poll, Barry got 70% of government workers’ votes. Romney has most of the entrepreneurs’ votes.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Sounds like it’s time for another Joe Biden “moment”.

pilamaye on August 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

It’ll be interesting to see what the new ‘big lie of the day’ will be to deflect this.

CPT. Charles on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

It will be blamed on the “obstructionist” Republican Congress as usual.

VinceOfDoom on August 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Spin that one, Angria Mitchell!

BettyRuth on August 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

OT: Has anyone seen that new Obama doc from D’Souza? I just noticed it’s playing here, so I might check that out this weekend.

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

It’s been playing in H-Town(Houston for the non-Texan) for weeks, but it’s finally expanding today to the Katy area, so I’m gonna try to check it out this weekend. It’s doing pretty well at the box office for a non-Michael Moore documentary.

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

It will be blamed on the “obstructionist” Republican Congress as usual.

VinceOfDoom on August 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

That, or Mitt Romney secretly purchased the WaPo.

BettyRuth on August 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM

OT: Fox News is reporting the shooter at the Empire State Building was an employee that was fired yesterday. Shot a guard in the face and began shooting indiscriminately…NYPD killed the shooter.

d1carter on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

He said he shouldn’t have the job…he should drop out of the race.

I would call for him to step down.

tomas on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

OT: Fox News is reporting the shooter at the Empire State Building was an employee that was fired yesterday. Shot a guard in the face and began shooting indiscriminately…NYPD killed the shooter.

d1carter on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I blame Bain Capital.

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

That, or Mitt Romney secretly purchased the WaPo.

BettyRuth on August 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Uh no. The Koch brothers purchased WaPo.

Please get your talking points in order.

VinceOfDoom on August 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Joe Biden wants to come into the 20th Century with 18th Century thinking

logicman_1998 on August 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Joe Biden is out campaigning this week, and next week, he will be able to educate us all….
HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Obama chooses Biden…Romney chooses Ryan…

That should tell it all.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

DWS is on CNN claiming it was Mitt Romney himself…///

d1carter on August 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I blame Bain Capital.

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

A man was fired and killed people…didn’t Mitt fire some people?

Is there a connection? Let’s ask MSNBC…

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

OT: Fox News is reporting the shooter at the Empire State Building was an employee that was fired yesterday. Shot a guard in the face and began shooting indiscriminately…NYPD killed the shooter.

d1carter on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

CNN actually reported this shooting.

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

It’s been playing in H-Town(Houston for the non-Texan) for weeks, but it’s finally expanding today to the Katy area, so I’m gonna try to check it out this weekend. It’s doing pretty well at the box office for a non-Michael Moore documentary.

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

It’s also playing here in Austin at several theaters, if you can believe it…

Hat Trick on August 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

OT: Has anyone seen that new Obama doc from D’Souza? I just noticed it’s playing here, so I might check that out this weekend.

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Starts here in Columbus OH tonight. I plan on going.

tdpwells on August 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Here’s what the petulant petty prince cares about: “Is Obama better off than he was 4 years ago?” Why, yes, yes he is.

maryo on August 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

NYPD killed the shooter.

d1carter on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Unfortunately, not before the shooter killed an innocent bystander.

Flora Duh on August 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

You are if you are at GITMO! They’ve got a new gym!

Wander on August 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I’ll tell you how bad things are IMHO. I live in Maine, and I can’t afford to buy any type of seafood. Even the price of pork and beef is getting to be a bit much for us. Buying a lot of chicken thighs and drumsticks instead.

I’m worried about how high the price of heating oil will be this winter.

Regardless, from the number of folks I talk to here, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Maine go for Romney this time around. We already took back the legislature and governorship.

TKindred on August 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

OT: Fox News is reporting the shooter at the Empire State Building was an employee that was fired yesterday. Shot a guard in the face and began shooting indiscriminately…NYPD killed the shooter.

d1carter on August 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Channel 11 out of New York is already reporting spinning that this is the tragic climax to the “Summer of Guns” in NYC.

Del Dolemonte on August 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I doesn’t really matter, only men care about this kind of thing. We are told that all women care about is abortion and free contraception so any news about the economy really doesn’t matter. Think about that, the democrats think of women as ignorant sluts that need to be protected from the republicans that are waging a war on them. Somehow the women I know do care about the economy and see this ruse for what it is, I suspect most women do.

Ellis on August 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

People, people. Don’t you get it? Just raise taxes on the rich go 251% and everything will be FINE! Fair Share, remember?

Violina23 on August 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

yeah you know what you call negative purchasing power valuation in a recessionary cycle in any other administration?

hint it starts with a “d”….

harlekwin15 on August 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Channel 11 out of New York is already reporting spinning that this is the tragic climax to the “Summer of Guns” in NYC.

Del Dolemonte on August 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

and yet they can’t connect the dots to the true cause … that NYC already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

Lost in Jersey on August 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

La la la….blame bush
-dear leader

cmsinaz on August 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

But Todd Akin thinks vaginas have magical power

gsherin on August 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Starts here in Columbus OH tonight. I plan on going.

tdpwells on August 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

I was surprised to see it playing here (rural VA). We typically don’t get anything other than very wide releases.

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Channel 11 out of New York is already reporting spinning that this is the tragic climax to the “Summer of Guns” in NYC.

Del Dolemonte on August 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Yes, because NYC has such lax gun laws…..goshdarnit, if only they weren’t so easy to get!

tdpwells on August 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

OT: Has anyone seen that new Obama doc from D’Souza? I just noticed it’s playing here, so I might check that out this weekend.

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Me. It’s very worth watching, highly recommended. Extremely well produced. In all honesty, I’m fairly sceptical of D’Souza’s thesis – and about this type of psico-political biographies in general – but I reckon he does an excellent job of presenting it. Furthermore, it’s hard to deny his assessment of what Obama is as a political figure – leaving alone the why – and the consequences of his presidency is correct in judgement. Plus, there’s a memorable moment that, in my view, illustrates the differences between the left and the right better than any political tract: the interview with Obama’s brother. The left’s ability to worry about abstract concepts instead of concrete people would never cease to awe me. They’re always too busy saving “the humanity” to actually care about real, concrete, existent people.

Btw, I suspect this is a great film to see with a friend who’s apolitical or merely undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming elections. I’m going to see it again this weekend and invited some people to go with me.

joana on August 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I was surprised to see it playing here (rural VA). We typically don’t get anything other than very wide releases.

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I thought it would only be at one theatre in this blue county, but it’s actually at all 4 major ones.

tdpwells on August 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Changer I’ll be watching it tonight

cmsinaz on August 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM

People, people. Don’t you get it? Just raise taxes on the rich go 251% and everything will be FINE! Fair Share, remember?

Nah, why wait to tax ‘em….just confiscate 99% of their property and assets for direct redistribution. Why, anyone could live on just 1% of what our rich have.

hawkeye54 on August 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Ellis on August 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Oh women care- I think that Obama is massively misreading this War on Women. Women buy the groceries, the school supplies and the new school sneakers. They are looking in their purses, and there is less money for things that have shot up in price. I can’t be the only person who is getting so frustrated at buying things in a regular sized package and finding on opening it that it is not even half full.

Kristamatic on August 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Thanks, Todd Akin and Mike Huckabee. Thanks a lot.

steebo77 on August 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

It’s beyond pathetic at this point.

joana on August 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Fascinating that the man has corrupted the limitations of the presidency, established an underground government led by his czars, supported the corruption of marriage and the family, deliberately attacked the Catholic Church and freedom of religion, bowed meekly to our enemies, humiliated the Supreme Court, defied other courts and the people’s congress, mysteriously armed government agencies with enough ammo to do us all in, and all we want to talk about is money? What fools we be!

Don L on August 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

CPT Charles

It’ll be mitt saying big business is doing fine during a fundraiser

cmsinaz on August 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

@RasmussenPoll 52% Rate U.S. #Economy As Poor… http://t.co/huBehycc

Flora Duh on August 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM

With the new accepted standard Oblabla approved gas price @ $3.50 (NJ)… it costs me $1000 a year more just to go to work… Who the hell has time to calculate all the other increases, but they add up.

So even those of US who are working are NOT better off.
-
Wave bye-bye Barack.

RalphyBoy on August 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Are we better off than we were four years ago?

Obama says to entrepeneurs and small business owners, “You didn’t build that, you had help”. He tells them they can’t take credit for their success. I’d like to hear the flip side of that.

Is he going to blame the highways and byways, the schools, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy or any other government entity we the taxpayers fund each time a small business fails? Is he going to blame the snooze button on the alarm clock each time that person on welfare decides to sleep in rather than look for a job? Or how about that comfortable mattress that keeps the unemployed from getting up and continuing their search for a job.

Is he going to blame those things when his policies stifle job growth or adds onerous regulations that slow the business down to the point where they have to close?

Please Obama, give a speech on that one and please, try and refrain from blaming George Bush for all of our ills.

iamsaved on August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Here’s a job I’d like to have:

Obama Schedule || August 24, 2012

by Keith Koffler on August 24, 2012, 9:42 am

Here’s the schedule. Hold onto your hats.

6:00 pm || Departs White House for Camp David

Cody1991 on August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/08/obama-has-millions-of-fake-twitter-followers/1#.UDeTnaC8gUO

And they are all registered to vote and already have their mail-in ballots.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

But I want my baby killing women reproductive rights–now!

hillsoftx on August 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Here’s a job I’d like to have:

Obama Schedule || August 24, 2012

by Keith Koffler on August 24, 2012, 9:42 am

Here’s the schedule. Hold onto your hats.

6:00 pm || Departs White House for Camp David

Cody1991 on August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Heh. What his schedule REALLY looks like:

11:00 AM Wake Up
12:00 PM Lunch at Chuck E. Cheese with Vice President
6:00 PM Departs White House for Camp David

changer1701 on August 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

What are the odds that WaPo still endorses Obumbles?

steebo77 on August 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Oh! About 110%.

Happy Nomad on August 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Here’s the schedule. Hold onto your hats.

6:00 pm || Departs White House for Camp David

Cody1991 on August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Dude, cut the guy a break, will you? He has said multiple times that his every waking moment is devoted to thinking about getting America back to work. He doesn’t have to be at the White House to do this. I bet he even thinks about it on his backswing.

DaveDief on August 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Here’s the schedule. Hold onto your hats.

6:00 pm || Departs White House for Camp David

Cody1991 on August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

What, no fundraisers? Shocker.

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Where was the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) when we got this dope of a Pres**ent.

J_Crater on August 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM

He’s probably going to golf, but I’m wondering if he’s prepping for the debates. I think he did something similar last Friday, i.e. nothing much on the schedule and an early departure.

Cody1991 on August 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I heard that Casey Anthony will speak at the democrat convention about the woman right to chose when to have a baby and when to stop having a baby./S

Falz on August 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I heard that Casey Anthony will speak at the democrat convention about the woman right to chose when to have a baby and when to stop having a baby./S

Falz on August 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Inappropriate laughter over here.

tdpwells on August 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

At the end and when voters go to the polls on November 6 2012 the majority of them are going to ask the simplest but most important question: “Do we want four more years of this Crap?”… and their answer would be “No, hell No”… It is that simple…
No amount of distractions, lies, and deceptions, by Obama, the liberals, and their media are going to change this fact…

mnjg on August 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM

OT: Rasmussen has Obama up by one in Missouri

OT: RCP moves Missouri from “Leans Romney” to “Toss Up”

Thanks, Todd Akin and Mike Huckabee. Thanks a lot.

steebo77 on August 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Minor blip… Missouri is going for Romney this elections… Anyway if Akins does not leave by second week of September the Republicans are going to run a write-in candidate and he/she would win the Missouri senate seat…

mnjg on August 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Romney needs to ask the same question Reagan did.

Unless you are a government worker or a welfare queen like libfree, the answer will be No.

CorporatePiggy on August 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I think a more powerful question by Romney is “Do you want four more years of this misery?”….

He can expand and say ” Do you want four more years of unemployment over 8%?” “Do you want four more years of slowest economy growth since WW II?”, “Do you want four more years of an additional 6 trillions dollars of debt?”, “Do you want four more years of a trillion dollar deficit each year?”, “Do you want four more years of Obamacare?”, “Do you want four more years of the war on the Producers?”…

mnjg on August 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

WaPo: No, you’re not better off than four years ago

…but all of JugEar’s friends ARE!

KOOLAID2 on August 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Yes, we are better off than 4 years ago….

4 years ago, we had four years left of this president, now we have not much more than 60 days…so we are about 1,395 days better off.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Real incomes dropping ? Blame it on the Federal Reserve and the Treasury. Well, in fairness to them, if the federal government wasn’t running a huge deficit, they wouldn’t be doing it.

I love it when I see Progressive say something so incredibly stupid like … “We aren’t bankrupt as long as we can sell Treasuries.”

Over at ZeroHedge, they have been reporting on how the supposition is meaningless at best, but probably utterly silly. It seems that the Treasury has been holding it’s regular T-bill auctions, but there are always these buyers who scoop them up, then sell them to the Federal Reserve within a few days.

Plain and simple, they are just printing money. The auctions are just for show (and to see if they can sucker anybody). Undermining the value of the dollar by this quasi-stealth dollar devaluation.

Put together near 0% interest on T-bills and CDs, devaluing of the dollar and a continuing huge appetite for imports, and it’s no wonder that real incomes are going down.

J_Crater on August 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM

This doesn’t account for EPI.

iwasbornwithit on August 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I think a more powerful question by Romney is “Do you want four more years of this misery?”….

mnjg on August 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Silly.

It wont be 4 more years of this same sh1t. IT WILL BE WORSE.
Next year I am set to pay another $2000 in taxes, and another $600-800 in health insurance. And you dam% well know thats just the start. Any raise at all, if we even get one, will be gone.

It will soon be much more profitable and easier to steal all the crap that those gov workers buy with their extra 17%.

orbitalair on August 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

We really should focus on the “Misery Index” as that takes into account unemployment and inflation. We have three problems that are getting worse, not better: Inflation, Less Median Income and Unemployment.

iwasbornwithit on August 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Who will he blame next?

Why, its asteroid 2011 AG5

“Sometimes, you’ve got too many asteroids”

BobMbx on August 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

It’s a personal question, one that has a different answer for each voter.

No it doesn’t. There are only three possible answers, “Yes.”, “No.”, and “Maybe.” Many people will have the same answer.

woodNfish on August 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Take the ever increasing costs of goods and services, major loss in buying power and waning disposible income are even worse. Doesn’t help if you have the fear of losing your job at this time either

The lame stream media can spin it and the polls all they want but people vote with their pocket book and those not standing in the handout line are pissed.

Romney/Ryan landslide

audiotom on August 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM