Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter Falsely Claims That Americans Are Better Off "By Any Measurement"
Stephanie Cutter: "By any measurement, the country has moved forward from where we were, from what we inherited four years ago." (MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown," 9/3/12)
BY THESE MEASURES THERE IS LITTLE REASON FOR AMERICANS TO CONSIDER THEMSELVES BETTER OFF AFTER FOUR YEARS OF OBAMA
Better Off: 56 Percent Of Swing State Voters Say They Aren't Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago. (Jeffrey M. Jones, "Swing-State Voters Say They Are No Better Off Than In 2008," Gallup, 8/20/12)
Jobs: Since President Obama Took Office, The Nation Has Lost 316,000 Jobs And The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above Eight Percent For 42 Straight Months. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/3/12)
Unemployment: 23.6 Million Americans Are Either Unemployed, Underemployed Or Have Given Up Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/3/12)
Long-Term Unemployment: Since Obama Took Office, The Average Duration Of Unemployment Has Nearly Doubled From 19.8 Weeks To 38.8 Weeks. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/3/12)
Net Worth: "The Net Worth Of The American Family Has Fallen To Its Lowest Level In Two Decades." (Ylan Q. Mui, "Fed: Americans' Wealth Dropped 40 Percent," The Washington Post , 6/11/12)
Median Household Income: "Real Median Household Income In March Was Down $4,300 Since Obama Took Office In January 2009 …" (Mike Dorning, "Obama Fails To Stem Middle-Class Slide He Blamed On Bush," Bloomberg, 4/30/12)
Savings: 23.4 Percent Of Families Have No Savings At All, Up From 18.5 Percent In 2009. (Christine Dugas, "Recession Added Debt, Drained Families' Savings,"USA Today, 5/12/12)
Government Assistance: "49.1%: Percent Of The Population That Lives In A Household Where At Least One Member Received Some Type Of Government Benefit In The First Quarter Of 2011." (Phil Izzo, "Number Of The Week: Half Of U.S. Lives In Household Getting Benefits," The Wall Street Journal's "Real Time Economics," 5/26/12)
Food Stamps: Since President Obama Took Office, The Number Of Americans Receiving Food Stamps Has Increased From 31.9 Million To 46.7 Million, A 46 Percent Increase. (Department Of Agriculture, 8/30/12)
Poverty: 97.3 Million Americans Now Qualify As Low-Income And Another 49.1 Million Are In Poverty; Together, 146.4 Million Americans Or 48 Percent Of The Population. (Hope Yen, "Census Shows 1 In 2 People Are Poor Or Low-Income," The Associated Press, 12/15/11)
Food Prices: Since Obama Became President, The Monthly Price Of A Moderate-Cost Food Plan For A Family Of Four With Young Children Has Increased From $819.40 To $859.40. ("Official USDA Food Plans: Cost Of Food At Home At Four Levels, U.S. Average, January 2009," USDA , 2/09; "Official USDA Food Plans: Cost Of Food At Home At Four Levels, U.S. Average, July 2012," USDA, 7/12)
Gas Prices: Since Obama Took Office, The Average Price Per Gallon Of Gas Has More Than Doubled From $1.847 To $3.744. ("Gasoline And Diesel Fuel Update," U.S. Energy And Information Administration, Accessed 9/3/12)
College Costs: Since President Obama Took Office, The Average Cost Of In-State Tuition At A Four Year College Has Risen From $6,585 To $8,244, A 25 Percent Increase. ("Trends In College Pricing 2009," College Board, 2008; "Trends In College Pricing 2011," College Board, 2011)
Health Care Premiums: Under Obama, The Average Cost Of Family Health Care Premiums Have Increased From $12,680 To $15,073. ("Employer Health Benefits, 2011 Annual Survey, Exhibit 1.11" Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011)
Foreclosures: Currently 5.6 Million Residential Mortgages Are Either 30 Days Delinquent Or In Foreclosure. (Press Release, "LPS "First Look" Mortgage Report: July Month-End Data Shows Slight Decrease in Delinquencies," Lender Processing Services, 8/29/12)
Negative Equity: As Of The Second Quarter Of 2012, 30.9 Percent - 15.3 Million - Of U.S. Homeowners With A Mortgage Are Underwater. (Stan Humphries, "Negative Equity Declines Slightly On The Back Of Modest Home Value Gains," Zillow, 8/22/12)
DEMS ARE STRUGGLING WITH FOUR DIFFERENT ANSWERS TO A SIMPLE QUESTION - ARE YOU BETTER OFF?
Answer #1 - Gov. Martin O'Malley Says "No"
When Gov. O'Malley Was Asked If Americans Were Better Off After Four Years Of Obama He Said "No." CBS' BOB SCHIEFFER: "Can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago?" GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY: "No, but that's not the question of this election." (CBS' "Face The Nation," 9/2/12)
Answer #2 - Campaign Adviser David Axelrod Won't Say Yes Or No
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago, Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod Doesn't Respond To The Question. FOX'S CHRIS WALLACE: "But you keep talking about Romney. I'd like to talk about the Obama record and I want to put some statistics up on the screen. Unemployment was 7.8 percent when the president took office; it's now 8.3 percent. Median household income was almost $55,000; it's now less than $51,000. Gas was $1.85 a gallon when he took office, now its $3.78, almost double. The national debt was $10.6 trillion and it may go past $16 trillion this week. So just looking at the president's record and those statistics, David, is the average American better off than four years ago?" OBAMA ADVISER DAVID AXELROD: "Chris, as I said to you before, I think the average American recognizes that it took years to create the crisis that erupted in 2008 and peaked in January of 2009. And it's gonna take some time to work through it." (Fox's " Fox News Sunday," 9/2/12)
Answer #3 - Senior Adviser David Plouffe Doesn't Respond To The Question
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago, Obama Senior Adviser David Plouffe Refuses To Say Yes Or No. ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "But yes or no, are Americans better off today than they were four years ago?" OBAMA ADVISER DAVID PLOUFFE: "Listen, George, they did a good job of reciting all the statistics everyone's familiar with. I think everyone understands we were this close to a great depression. Because of the leadership of this President, we staved that off. We're beginning to recover. We have a lot more work to do. We need to grow jobs more quickly. We need to grow middle-class incomes more quickly. But, the question for the American people is, which path are we going to take? If we take Mitt Romney's path, economists have looked at this, the recovery would slow down, we wouldn't produce jobs. He would give huge tax cuts to people like himself and send the bill to the middle class and seniors. So, the question is, we're going to be far worse off if Mitt Romney is elected president and he gets a chance to enact the same economic policies that created the mess in the first place." (ABC's " This Week," 9/2/12)
- ABC'S George Stephanopoulos Responded "You Still Can't Say Yes" As To Whether Or Not Americans Are Better Off. STEPHANOPOULOS: "So, it sounds like, a year ago, the President told me, I don't think Americans are better off than they were four years ago. You still can't say yes." PLOUFFE: "Well, we've clearly improved George from the depths of the recession. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month. We're now gaining them. The unemployment rate was around 10, it's come down. We're beginning to see a manufacturing sector emerge. One of the great bright spots right now is we're adding manufacturing jobs. The American automotive industry was close to extinction. Mitt Romney would've let it go away, by the way. We wouldn't have an American automotive industry if he was president. President Obama secured that. We're beginning to really make progress in alternative energy and things like batteries. We've made a lot of progress from the depths of recession. we have a lot more work to do. And that's the question we're going to lay out for the American people is, the Romney path would be the wrong path for the middle class, the wrong path for this country. We've got to continue to recover not just from the recession, but again, how do we build an economy from the middle out so that we have an economy, tax policy, all centered on how do we make the middle class more secure in this country." (ABC's " This Week," 9/2/12)
Answer #4 - Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter And DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse Say "Absolutely"
Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter Says "Absolutely" Americans Are Better Off. NBC'S NATALIE MORALES: "Let me begin by starting with that central question on a lot of people's minds, and that is are we better off today than we were four years ago when President Obama was elected?" STEPHANIE CUTTER: "Absolutely. Let me just walk you through what life was like four years ago." (NBC's "Today Show," 9/3/12)
When Asked If Americans Are Better Off Now After Four Years Of Obama, DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse Says "Absolutely." CNN's JOHN BERMAN: "Brad you've been shaking your head, as you've been sitting off camera, because we've been playing all the sound from the last 24 hours of Democrats being asked 'are you better off today than you were four years ago?' So, I'll give you the chance to ask the question, are we better off than we were four years ago?" BRAD WOODHOUSE: "Absolutely." (CNN's "Early Start," 9/3/12)
Economy Jobs, Wages and Unemployment