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Bizarro Biden, Meet Reality

- August 22, 2012

In Detroit, Biden Touts A Comeback For The City That Doesn't Match The Facts

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Biden: "And Guess What? Detroit Is Getting Back Up." BIDEN: "My dad used to have only one thing to say when he would come watch me play football or baseball from the time I started playing in fourth grade. He would say, 'Joey, just get up. You get knocked down, get up. Just get up. Child, you know how to get up, man. You know how to get up.' My dad used to say, the measure of a man or woman was not how -- not whether they got knocked down, but how quickly they got up. And guess what? Detroit is getting back up. Detroit is getting back up." (Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Detroit, MI, 8/22/12)

DETROIT'S MIDDLE CLASS WOULD BEG TO DIFFER

In July, The Unemployment Rate For The Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Area Increased From 9.7 Percent To 10.2 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/22/12)

MICHIGAN'S MIDDLE CLASS WOULD BEG TO DIFFER

Unemployment: Michigan Has 421,255 Unemployed Seeking Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/17/12)

Median Household Income: Since 2008, Michigan's Median Income Has Fallen $3,178. (U.S. Census Website, Accessed 10/17/11)

Food Stamps: Since Obama Took Office, The Number Of People In Michigan Receiving Food Stamps Has Increased By 33 Percent. ("Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program: Number Of Persons Participating ," Food Research And Action Center, Accessed 8/10/12; "Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program: Number Of Persons Participating," USDA Food And Nutrition Service , Accessed 8/10/12)

Poverty: Between 2008 To 2010, 207,981 More People In Michigan Fell Into Poverty. ("Poverty: 2007 And 2008," U.S. Census Bureau, 10/11; "Poverty: 2009 And 2010," U.S. Census Bureau, 10/11)

Gas Prices: Since The Week Obama Took Office, The Average Price Per Gallon Of Gas In Michigan Has Increased From $1.957 To $3.883. ("Current State Averages," Fuel Gauge Report, 1/16/09; "Current State Averages," Fuel Gauge Report, 8/21/12)

College Tuition: The Average Student Graduating From A Four-Year College Institution In Michigan Has $25,675 In Debt. (Project On Student Debt, Accessed 5/4/12)

Home Values: As Of June 2012, Michigan Has Had The Second Largest Peak-To-Current Decline In Home Prices In The Nation, Dropping 39 Percent. "The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines including distressed transactions are Nevada (-57.1 percent), Florida (-45.3 percent), Arizona (-44.1 percent), California (-39.2 percent), and Michigan (-39.0 percent)." (Press Release, "CoreLogic April Home Price Index Shows Year-Over-Year Increase Of Just Over One Percent," CoreLogic , 8/7/12)

Foreclosures: In The First Half Of 2012, Michigan Had The Nation's Seventh Highest Foreclosure Rate, With A Rate Of 1.02 Percent. "Other states with foreclosure rates among the 10 highest nationwide in the first half of 2012 were Illinois (1.40 percent of housing units with foreclosure filing), Michigan (1.02 percent), Colorado (0.97 percent), Ohio (0.94 percent), and Utah (0.93 percent)." (Press Release, "1 Million Properties With Foreclosure Filings In First Half Of 2012," RealtyTrac , 7/12/12)

Negative Equity: In The First Quarter Of 2012, Michigan Had The Fifth Highest Negative Equity Percentage In The Nation, With 35 Percent Of All Mortgaged Homes Underwater. "Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage with 61 percent of all mortgaged properties underwater, followed by Florida (45 percent), Arizona (43 percent), Georgia (37 percent) and Michigan (35 percent)." (Press Release, "CoreLogic Reports Negative Equity Decreases In First Quarter Of 2012," CoreLogic, 7/12/12)

BIDEN'S COMMENTS COME FRESH OFF A SIMILAR INACCURATE STATEMENT HE MADE ABOUT THE MIDDLE CLASS YESTERDAY IN MINNESOTA

Biden: "Folks, The Middle Class Is Coming Back, They Have Been Ravaged. They Have Been Ravaged. But They Are Starting To Come Back." (Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Minneapolis, MN, 8/21/12)

Yet These Claims Run Counter To The Experiences Of The Actual Middle Class

For The First Time Since The End Of World War II, Mean Family Incomes Declined For Americans In All Income Tiers. "Their downbeat take on their economic situation comes at the end of a decade in which, for the first time since the end of World War II, mean family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers. But the middle-income tier-defined in this Pew Research analysis as all adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median -is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued over the past four decades." ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)

32 Percent Of Americans Place Themselves In The Lower Or Lower-Middle Class, Up From 25 Percent In 2008. "The 2012 survey finds an increase in those who self-identify as being in the lower or lower-middle class-32% place themselves in these categories, up from 25% in 2008." ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)

  • And 17 Percent Now Say They Are In The Upper Or Upper-Middle Class, Down From 21 Percent In 2008. ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)

14 Percent More Younger Adults Are More Likely To Classify Themselves As Lower Or Lower-Middle Class Than In 2008. "Adults ages 65 and older (63%) are more inclined than all other age groups to call themselves middle class and less inclined to say they are lower class (20%). Meantime, younger adults (those ages 18 to 29) are more likely to say they are they are in the lower or lower-middle class; fully 39% say this now, compared with 25% who said so in 2008." ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)

62 Percent Of Americans Say They Had To Reduce Household Spending In The Past Year Because Money Was Tight, Up From 53 Percent Who Said So In 2008. "The Great Recession officially ended three years ago, but most middle-class Americans are still feeling pinched. About six-in-ten (62%) say they had to reduce household spending in the past year because money was tight, compared with 53% who said so in 2008." ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)

42 Percent Of Middle-Class Adults Say Their Household's Financial Situation Is Worse Now Than It Was Before The Recession. "The downbeat short-term perspective is not surprising in light of the heavy economic blows delivered by the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and the sluggish recovery since. About four-in-ten (42%) middle-class adults say their household's financial situation is worse now than it was before the recession, while 32% say they are in better shape; an additional 23% volunteered that their finances are unchanged." ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)

26 Percent Of Those In The Middle Class Think Their Children's Standard Of Living Will Be Worse Off Then Their Own, Up From 19 Percent In 2008. "As for their children's economic future, some 43% of those in the middle class expect that their children's standard of living will be better than their own, while 26% think it will be worse and 21% think it will be about the same. Four years ago, in response to the same question, the middle class had higher hopes for their offspring, with 51% predicting they would have a better standard of living and 19% thinking it would be worse." ("The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class," Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)


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