Saturday, September 15, 2012

Remember Four Years Ago?

Every four years the presidential challengers ask, “Are we better off now than four years ago?”

Good question. As we know, the wealthy are doing better than ever.

How about the rest of us? It’s been tough, with the Right wanting to privatize public health and safety nets, and punish us with austerity. Stepping on the little guy while coddling the rich is always their solution

But economists are generally in agreement that we are better off.

----
Five Veteran Economics Reporters Who Say We're Better Off:

The economy has grown for twelve consecutive quarters; private sector employment has grown for 29 consecutive months, adding millions of jobs; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has nearly doubled from its low point in March 2009.

"From an economic growth standpoint, clearly it is better," Kevin Hall, McClatchy's national economics correspondent, said about the country's finances.

"If you go back and look at the charts -- you can pull up the GDP chart, we are growing 2 to 2.2 percent -- you would say it is clearly yes, compared to a 3.7 percent contraction in the third quarter of 2008, followed by an 8.9 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008."

He later added, "You look at how many jobs were lost, December '07 to June 2009, 7.9 million jobs lost. That is a big, big number. That recession encompassed mostly the Bush era, but also four month of Obama. In the last 28 months, there's been an increase of roughly 4.4 million jobs, which if you just look at that number, it is a tremendous growth period."

"Clearly we are better off. I don't know how you could say no," he stressed. "I think we have taken the steps to shore up our banking system, people have become more proactive in paying down debt, the American consumer has taken steps to be more responsible."

Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor for The Economist, offered a similar assessment.

"I would say [we are] better off than [we] would have been without his policies," he said in an email, referring to the president. "Ordinarily, presidents have limited influence over America's big, market-driven economy. However, Mr. Obama took office at a unique time when his decisions really mattered. His initial policy actions on stimulus and crisis relief for the banks really did make the recession less severe than it otherwise would have been

Steve Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for The Washington Post, cited a lag in median income, but found most economic indicators point to a better situation than four years ago.

"The stock market was going down very fast back then and our housing prices were going down fast, they went down quite a bit in the early days of Obama, but they probably are now higher, wealth wise," he said in an interview. "If you look at direction, in those days things were falling fast and would fall quite far.

"Today they are rising, slowly, but the direction of things is much better than it was then. If you are doing a directional analysis, we are better off."

(Excerpts)
----
Here are some facts and numbers that agree:

September 2008:

Monday, September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. The Dow dropped 504.48 points.

September 29, 2008 The Dow fell 777.68 points, the most in any single day in history.

Unemployment rate on Election Day 2008 – 6.5%

On Obama’s Inauguration Day - 7.3%

Obama inherited a severe economic collapse and jobs were disappearing.

Stock Market Closing Prices – January 20, 2009

Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJIA ) Close - 7949

NASDAQ Stock Market Close - 1440

S&P 500 Close - 805

The Bush Recession was rapidly hitting the fan before Obama took office.

Soon afterwards, auto company bailouts and Obama's economic stimulus plan, despite being gutted by the corpo-dems and Republicans, started to create the confidence needed to stop the panic.

On July 24, 2009, the Dow reached a higher high, closing at 9,093.24

What happened since?

October 2009: Peak Unemployment Rate – 10%

Current Unemployment Rate – 8.3%

Even measured by the lagging indicator of unemployment, it’s getting better. The direction is now postive.

And how’s the Market doing now?

Stock Market Closing Prices - September 14, 2012

Dow Jones Close - 13593 - Way up from Bush's 7949

NASDAQ Close - 3184 - Way up from Bush's 1440

S&P 500 Close - 1466 - Way up from Bush's 805


There’s no doubt the economy is better off now than four years ago, and headed in the right direction.

If....

We don’t give it all back to the Republicans and go backwards to their same failed policies.

Republicans want us to forget. They’d rather tell you Obama is an un-American, Muslim Marxist apologizing for our values, and sympathizing with rioters and killers, and someone who said, “You didn’t build your business”.

They’re following the classic fascist techniques of inciting resentment among the people and fusing their Big Lies with hate mongering.

They need to make it harder for people to vote.

Why? Because it’s all they got...besides tons of "free speech money" from the economic elites, plutocrats, and corporations.

Democracy is in a life and death battle.

Use it or lose it.


29 comments:

Grung_e_Gene said...

Yes, despite Republicans worst efforts we are better off today than 4 years ago. If Romney and the right somehow manage to steal the election they'll slit Americas throat and bleed us dry.

okjimm said...

well.... four years ago I had a job... insurance and could still see without cataracts. But, ya, I think I am a whole lot better off.... I have some hope.

Beach Bum said...

Four years ago the economy was like a person gravely injured after a car accident. Now the bleeding has stopped and the patient is recovering but very slowly. So yeah, we are better off than four years ago.

What I find supremely funny is how Romney was bragging during his lackluster convention about how he would create 12 million jobs during his administration. Wow! That is the same number the Congressional Budget Office will come about naturally.

Leslie Parsley said...

It's that last part that's a zinger. Unfortunately, today's flock of sheep are no different from the sheep we saw in 1930s Germany. Hopefully, after the display at the white country club, aka the RNC, the moderate Republicans are beginning to wake up to what a threat the extreme fright-wing is. There are some encouraging signs here and there, no doubt helped along by Romney's unpatriotic remarks after the assassinations in Libya - and that smirk on his mug as he showed his ass for all the world to see.

FandB said...

Dubya, your penchant for cherry-picking data is quite obvious in this post. Obviously, you’re an Obama-bot, so you’ll try to spin your god-king’s results in the most favorable light possible. By selecting only certain pieces of data you make your case that people are better off today, blah, blah, blah.

From your own data: Unemployment rate 1/20/2009 = 7.3%, Today it is 8.3%. Note that 8.3% does not include the millions who have left the workforce as discouraged workers. After nearly 4 years, the unemployment rate is Higher than it was when Obama took office, and there are many more discouraged workers who aren’t even counted anymore. Nearly 4 years and unemployment is worse, and has been climbing again for the past few months.

From Obama’s inauguration until today, Obama is still presiding over a net Loss of 400,000 jobs. Of course, if you cherry-pick a low spot you can try to spin a positive number out of it. But what’s the point? To be deceptive in order to make your guy look better? Spin baby spin.

No question that the stock market has recovered. How much does that really affect the average American? Most Americans would rather have a job than a strong stock market and no job. I'm sure you'll say the market recovered because of Obama, I say the market recovered in spite of Obama and his policies.

America’s credit rating has been downgraded multiple times. Inflation from the rampant printing of money to “pay” for the bailouts has yet to hit. Historically, we would need to prepare for a very strong period of inflation. Another recession could delay this, and many economic indicators suggest a strong possibility of a recession within the next 6 months.

Obama’s deficit spending in 3-1/2 years has surpassed the previous administrations total for 8 years, and the National Debt has soared from 10.5 Trillion to over 16 Trillion dollars in less than 4 years. Our interest payments on this debt will soon be our largest expense, surpassing even our spending on the military and entitlement programs. We are in that dire economic position now where we have to borrow money to pay the interest on our loans. Everyone I’ve ever known who found themselves in that position went bankrupt, or found other sources of income. In other words, the U.S. will have to increase taxes, and will have to do it soon. Too bad the 1%’ers, or even the 5%’ers don’t have enough money to fix the problem. Federal income taxes in one form or another will affect everyone, not just the high earners.

So you can spin it however you would like, and I know you will. But another Obama Presidency will be disastrous for our economy and our country. Yes, Obama “inherited” a “mess”, but he has made it worse, not better (unless you have a ton of money in the stock market, then you’re probably doing OK).

It was refreshing to see Mitt Romney show some Leadership, and a spine, in condemning the attack on our embassy in Libya - exactly what the U.S. needs in a President. Then Obama condemned Romney for his remarks in harsher tones than Obama used in condemning the rioters (after he apologized to them). Then Obama jumped on his plane to go to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, while complaining that this crisis is too big for politics. Hmmmm... No wonder the Middle East is a mess and our Foreign Policy is Chaos.


Jefferson's Guardian said...

By all generally accepted methods, it could be acknowledged that "things are better" than when Obama assumed office in January 2009. But we're still not out of the woods. Nonetheless, switching horses in mid-stream would be disastrous - especially given the conservative intent to destroy the American middle- and working-classes. At the very least, an Obama reelection slows the bleeding; a Romney presidency only quickens the hemorrhaging.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

January 2008 unemployment rate- 7.6%
Average unemployment rate from 2000-2008 - 6.2%

August 2012 unemployment rate- 8.1%
Average unemployment rate 2008-2012 - 8.9%

National Debt December 2008- 10.69 trillion

National Debt August 2012- 15.85 trillion

Average price of gas 2008- 1.78

Average price of gas 2012- 3.64


You can preach the value of the DOW and NASDAQ (or hate it) but its the FED creating another bubble, and bubbles always burst. So it didn't make me happy in 2005 and it isn't today. In fact, I fear bubbles more than busts. Especially when its based on over valued stock.

FandB said...

Jefferson: Romney isn't Bush any more than Obama is Bill Clinton. Romney's various life experiences qualify him to fix our economy better than anyone else out there. This isn't a time for political posturing or proselytizing, it is a time for constructive cooperation. We need to end the race and class divisions that Obama has intensified for his own political gain, and at the expense of Americans in general. America needs someone who knows how to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and who doesn't have a political axe to grind or his own hidden political agenda. Romney fits this bill much better than Obama.

free0352 said...

People talk about Obama inheriting a mess. Well, fireman inherit a mess too, and you don't see them throwing gas on the fire.

okjimm said...

Free.... that was one really stupid analogy. You obviously have never restored a kitchen after a grease fire. Takes a while.

Dave Dubya said...

Gene,
Yes, we know all that matters to Republicans is more trickle up wealth and screw the rest of us.

Okjimm,
Sorry to hear that. But jobs are the least concern for Republicans. They’re too busy with their priorities serving Big Money, suppressing voter turnout, and giving lip service to the fundamentalist fringe.

You’re right. Free’s was a poor analogy. As a former forest fire fighter, I know sometimes you fight fire with fire. It’s called a back-burn....and it works.

Beach,
Returning to the failed GOP polices of tax cuts, and deregulation, and “greed is good”, but only for the elites, would truly bring it all crashing down again.

JG,
Sadly the Democratic Party has been corporatized and shifted so far to the Right, the best we can expect is a slower race to the cliff.

Free,
Want more bubbles and busts? Keep de-regulating Wall Street. Want more debt? Keep starting wars and cutting taxes. There’s your gas on the fire.

Talk about cherry picking. I see you don’t remember four years ago very well at all. You are parroting Christian News Service bias:

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/gas-when-bush-left-office-178-gas-today-364-highest-average-price-calif-420

“Gas When Bush Left Office, $1.78 -- Gas Today, $3.64”

At least CNN tells the story you forgot:

June 2008:


Gas price record reaches $4 a gallon


Then the recession hit and the oil companies had to dump a lot of product....fast and cheap.

Gas price drop: 60 days straight

Remember $4 gas? Soon it will be $2 gas.
As the nation's economy worsens, the demand for oil and gas wanes. As a result, prices drop. And drop. And drop.


I hope you research your military assignments with a lot more effort. Your casual way of gathering information could be dangerous.

No wonder you’re not a colonel.

Dave Dubya said...

F&B,
Man, talk about spinning. You had to go into overdrive here didn’t you? Why not just tell us things were a lot better four years ago?

“Obama-bot.... god-king”

Spin.

”I say the market recovered in spite of Obama and his policies”.

Spin.

America’s credit rating has been downgraded...

Thanks, GOP.

strong possibility of a recession within the next 6 months

Better spin in a little fear, and pretend the Republicans had nothing to do with the Bush recession.

In other words, the U.S. will have to increase taxes, and will have to do it soon.

Told you so.

another Obama Presidency will be disastrous for our economy and our country.

More spin. Then why is it better now than when Bush wrecked it?

Obama “inherited” a “mess”, but he has made it worse, not better

More spin. No, he inherited a recession. A depression would be worse. It is better. We have many signs of recovery.

Tell us again why you want to go back to the good old days of September 2008.

It was refreshing to see Mitt Romney show some Leadership, and a spine, in condemning the attack on our embassy in Libya - exactly what the U.S. needs in a President. Then Obama condemned Romney for his remarks in harsher tones than Obama used in condemning the rioters (after he apologized to them).


Spin baby spin. Willard, Willard, Willard....sigh....isn’t he just dreamy???

And Obama apologized to rioters?

No. That isn’t even spin. That is called a lie.

A little lie now and then never hurt, eh?

unemployment is worse, and has been climbing again for the past few months.

The US Unemployment Rate is at 8.10%, compared to 8.30% last month and 9.10% last year. This is ... September 12, 2012

No. That isn’t spin either. Again, you are a LIAR.


But what’s the point? To be deceptive in order to make your guy look better? Spin baby spin.


Spin baby spin.

free0352 said...

You don't even need to be a private in the Army to figure out that everything costs more now than it did in 2008, and that Obama has given us 5 trillion more in debt.

Here's a link from those radical rightists at the NY Times that backs up my point nicely.

Wages are down, prices are up, debt is up. Yay Democrat Keynesian plan! I guess instead of the rich getting richer and the poor getting a little richer... you opted for everybody getting poorer. Yay! Equality finally! This isn't trickle down economics, this is trickle up poverty.

Great job. No wonder you're not an economist.

free0352 said...

Oh and my favorite, no budget for over 1200 days. Even though Democrats control 2/3 of the legislative process, and had 100% of it for two years.

What a failure. Spin that.

Dave Dubya said...

There you go again with with the sloppy research.

The top 5% are not the "rich". And they ain't suffering.

Look at the top .01%.

Greed uber alles. Keep giving them more. Let them have everything they want. Let them dictate public policy and see what "trickles down".

That's your plan isn't it?

Been there, done that.

So tell us why we want to go back to the prosperity and good times of September 2008.

This must be your point, right? It was so much better then?

Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner?

free0352 said...

The top 5% are not the "rich"

Say's who? The other 95% maybe? Most "rich" people by any definition are small business owners. Thats companies with under 500 employees, and guess what? As I know, you know, 23% of them aren't even getting paid. They were four years ago.

Look at the top .01%.

You won't be able to much longer, as those who can are leaving this tax quagmire. Not that you care. But I'm sure the guy whose job got outsourced to China or India and the rich guy who took his capital to Hong Kong, Lichtenstien, or the Caymans (along with his share of tax revenue which is nothing to sneeze at)

Ever heard of capital flight? Yeah, you probably don't care. Never mind who pays 70% of we humble government employees salary... Guess thats why so many of us are getting laid off. I mean really, who will be left to defend this country?

Keep giving them more.

No, its called letting them keep what they earned. T. Boon Pickens didn't steal his fortune from a factory worker somewhere. He earned it.

So tell us why we want to go back to the prosperity and good times of September 2008.

More like the good times of 1922, 1986, and 1996.

Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner?

Why don't you ask the President.

Heck, even you back handedly admit there has been some progress. 100% of that was made with this congress. That was accomplished by gridlocking the government that was throwing the gas on that fire I mentioned earlier.












Dave Dubya said...

Free:
Touching. You have such depth of compassion for the rich, even the ones who don’t give a crap about our country.

Yet you serve their interests so well.

No wonder you're not an economist

They just agree with me.

In case you forgot ,we’re comparing now to four years ago.

free0352 said...

In case you forgot ,we’re comparing now to four years ago.

I'll take four years ago. Home prices were better and the unemployment rate was less, and our debt was 5 trillion less. And terrorists were scared of America.

FandB said...

Dubya: "The US Unemployment Rate is at 8.10%, compared to 8.30% last month and 9.10% last year. This is ... September 12, 2012

No. That isn’t spin either. Again, you are a LIAR." --- Actually, the only reason the unemployment appears to be lower when it is really higher is because 368,000 people stopped looking for work in August, i.e. became 'discouraged workers' and were no longer officially counted as unemployed, even though there are really MORE unemployed in August than in July.

See CNN's numbers.

But you like to put that spin on it that makes it look better than it is because you are a LIAR.

Dave Dubya said...

OK, folks, the votes are in. Most economists (and non-authoritarian personalities) agree the economy is better off now than at the brink of doom in September ’08.

Free and F&B stand alone in the wilderness, pleading for the good old days of a crashing economy, failing banks, and vanishing jobs.

Free,
I'll take four years ago.

Yes, of course you would. We remember your sentimental yearning for the late ‘20’s that led to the Great Depression.

F&B,

But you like to put that spin on it that makes it look better than it is because you are a LIAR

You’re the one trying to spin the Bush Crash of ‘08 as better than now, Bub. Keep spinning and lying.

Yes, Obama “inherited” a “mess”, but he has made it worse, not better

‘Cause YOU say so? I’ve shown several economists that disagree. What about you? You’re what...a tea bagging Republican? Of course, we should believe you and Rush on all economic and scientific matters.

Nearly 4 years and unemployment is worse, and has been climbing again for the past few months.

No evidence cited. It was climbing faster between Election Day and inauguration day. What does that tell you, Sport?

I’ll tell you. Tax cuts, deregulation, and Big Money favoring policies (Republican corporatism) failed. And it takes a lot longer to clean up a mess than to make it. Especially when the mess makers are still at it.

And thanks for the CNN link.

"These numbers are not very strong," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. "The job market is improving, but only gradually."

Obviously you didn’t read all of it. There’s another vote against your dizzying spinning position.

harsher tones than Obama used in condemning the rioters (after he apologized to them)

How do you live with yourself?

Really.

What lies and anger must you keep recycling in your brain to preserve that hate and dishonesty?

You’re not only an authoritarian personality, but a borderline sociopathic personality as well.

Does wrapping your hate in Christianity fix it? Fortunately most Christians are not as cold-blooded as you radical extremists on the far Right.

I wonder what Jesus would say about your spewing hate and lies for Mammon?

Would He be quick to forgive sociopathic, lying hypocrites?

free0352 said...

Government intervention (Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act) turned a recession and economic correction into a depression just like government intervention (TARP, Stimulus) led to the Great Recession we're in now.

It was predictable both times, and we should have been out of this mess a long time ago and would be if activist government meddling hadn't thrown gas on the fire. The New Deal failed and made the problem worse for 10 years and we are seeing history repeat its self today.

FandB said...

Yes, of course Dubya, it is CNN after all. Here is the paragraph preceding the one you cited from my CNN link above.

"The unemployment rate fell largely because 368,000 people stopped looking for work, many of them young people. Just 63.5% of the working-age population was either employed or actively looking for work -- a 30-year low."

Now, just the fact that you ignored and failed to cite that information or present your quote in context proves you are a LIAR.

And that you intentionally post information in a misleading way to try to support your socialist agenda.

From your own data: Unemployment rate 1/20/2009 = 7.3%, Today it is 8.3%.

From Obama’s inauguration until today, Obama is still presiding over a net Loss of 400,000 jobs. Obviously, something the lefties don't want to talk about.

America’s credit rating has been downgraded multiple times. No, not because of the GOP alone, more because of the democrats, but either way it was because of the massive "QE"s that created money and debt out of thin air.

Inflation from the rampant printing of money to “pay” for the bailouts has yet to hit. But we all know it will. (Hint: make sure you agree with this one Dubya so the economists will continue to agree with you.)

Obama’s deficit spending in 3-1/2 years has surpassed the previous administrations total for 8 years, and the National Debt has soared from 10.5 Trillion to over 16 Trillion dollars in less than 4 years. Also, latest figures indicate that the "bailouts" Obama pushed through resulted in a $1 increase in the size of the GDP for every $3 in new Federal debt.

It was refreshing to see Mitt Romney show some Leadership, and a spine, in condemning the attack on our embassy in Libya - exactly what the U.S. needs in a President. Then Obama condemned Romney for his remarks in harsher tones than Obama used in condemning the rioters (after he apologized to them). Then Obama jumped on his plane to go to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, while complaining that this crisis is too big for politics. Hmmmm... No wonder the Middle East is a mess and our Foreign Policy is Chaos.

The US Unemployment Rate is at 8.10%, compared to 8.30% last month and 9.10% last year. --- And 7.3% at the beginning of Obama's regime. 8.1 is less than 7.3 huh, must be the new-liberal math.

Dubya: "Would He be quick to forgive sociopathic, lying hypocrites?" --- I don't know Dubya, do you feel forgiven?

Dave Dubya said...

F&B,
Spinning, spinning, spinning... and still unrepentant lying.

How do you live with yourself?

Really?

Dave Dubya said...

F&B,

No question that the stock market has recovered. How much does that really affect the average American? Most Americans would rather have a job than a strong stock market and no job. I'm sure you'll say the market recovered because of Obama, I say the market recovered in spite of Obama and his policies.

Thank you for admitting “trickle down” economics doesn’t work.

free0352 said...

More like Keynesian stimulus doesn't work.

FandB said...

Dubya, "trickle down" economics is a fictitious construct created by liberals in a feeble attempt to demonize President Reagan.

"Supply Side" economics does work. President Reagan and Slick Willy Clinton proved it.

Dave Dubya said...

F&B,
Aww. Isn't that sweet. Now that's a touching little bow at your alter to your Infallible Savior.

Odd that you add Clinton, and not your heroic Decider.

As we all know, "trickle down" is the lie behind tax cuts.

Remember those?

Tax cuts = Not fiction.

"Tax cuts create jobs" = Fiction.

Tax cuts did not deliver the promised benefits...

The trickle down from the tax cuts is the fiction.

-

Are you ready to tell us how swell it was back in September 2008?

FandB said...

Here's another for you Dubya: Report: Median Income Worse Now Than It Was During Great Recession. From your beloved MSM outlet CBS (not exactly known for their conservative views). "The median income for American households in 2009 – the official end of the Great Recession – was $52,195 (in 2011 dollars), while the median income dipped to $50,054 last year, falling 4.1 percent over two years."

Also from the article above: "The poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 15 percent last year as the median household wealth fell by 39 percent over a three-year span, from $131,016 in 2007 to $79,431 in 2010."

Or maybe you would prefer this article which discusses the current "Unprecedented" increase in Food Stamps: The Food Stamp Recovery.

Yes, indeed, Obama's "recovery" makes American miss the good old days of 2007-2008.

BTW, I mentioned Slick Willy and not President Bush because Clinton left the supply side policies in place for a while. President Bush lowered tax rates in order to improve the recovery from the recession he inherited from Clinton, and to prevent a recession in response to the 911 attack by Muslim terrorists.

Oh, I forgot, you're a truther too.