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It Didn’t Work For Iowa’s Middle Class

- September 18, 2012

 

In Iowa, “The Shaky State Of The National Economy Is Obama’s Biggest Vulnerability”

In Iowa, “County Leaders Agree, The Shaky State Of The National Economy Is Obama’s Biggest Vulnerability.” “The unemployment rate in Iowa’s 12 hottest swing counties ranges from 3.7 percent (Carroll) to 7.5 percent (Hamilton). Across the board, county leaders agree, the shaky state of the national economy is Obama’s biggest vulnerability.” (Jennifer Jacobs, “Campaigns Battle Over 12 Iowa Swing Counties,” Des Moines Register, 8/5/12)

  • The Lack Of Iowans Enthusiasm For Obama Is Because Of The High Unemployment. “One explanation for their dearth of enthusiasm can be summed up by the news on the first Friday morning of each month: the unemployment report. Each lackluster economic report, like the one two days ago that pinpointed the jobless rate unchanged at 8.2 percent, reinforces the sense among Iowans that the country is on the wrong track.” (Jennifer Jacobs, “Battling For Every Iowa Vote,” Des Moines Register, 7/9/12)

OBAMANOMICS HAS FAILED IOWA’S MIDDLE CLASS

Jobs: Since Obama Took Office, Iowa Has Lost 10,000 Jobs. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/17/12)

  • In July, The Unemployment Rate In Iowa Increased From 5.1 Percent To 5.3 Percent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/17/12)

Unemployed: Iowa Has 88,219 Unemployed Seeking Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/17/12)

Median Income: Since 2008, Iowa’s Median Income Has Fallen $1,019. (U.S. Census Website, Accessed 9/17/12)

The Average Iowa Family Earned Less In 2010 Than It Did In 2000. “Despite a decade of work, the average Iowa family earned less in 2010 than in 2000, based on state income data that have been adjusted for inflation.” (Donnelle Eller, “Register Exclusive: Iowans Lose Ground On Income,” Des Moines Register, 8/11/12)

Iowa’s Median Annual Income Dropped From $35,551 In 2000 To $34,838 In 2010. “Iowa’s median annual income dropped 2 percent to $34,838 in 2010 from $35,551 in 2000, based on aggregated data from 1.3 million tax returns, provided by the Iowa Department of Revenue at the request of The Des Moines Register.” (Donnelle Eller, “Register Exclusive: Iowans Lose Ground On Income,” Des Moines Register, 8/11/12)

  • The Bottom 30 Percent Of Iowa’s Low-Income Earners Median Income Fell 18 Percent Between 2000 And 2010. “Iowa’s low-income earners, the bottom 30 percent, saw their median income fall 18 percent to $15,377 over the decade.” (Donnelle Eller, “Register Exclusive: Iowans Lose Ground On Income,” Des Moines Register, 8/11/12)
  • The Middle 40 Percent Of Iowa Earners Saw A 2.3 Percent Decline In Median Income. “The middle 40 percent of Iowa earners, with a median income of $38,499, experienced a 2.3 percent decline.” (Donnelle Eller, “Register Exclusive: Iowans Lose Ground On Income,” Des Moines Register, 8/11/12)

Food Stamps: Since Obama Took Office, The Number Of People In Iowa Receiving Food Stamps Has Increased By 44 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, 35,588 More People In Iowa Fell Into Poverty. (“Poverty: 2007 And 2008,” U.S. Census Bureau, 10/11; “Poverty: 2009 And 2010,” U.S. Census Bureau, 10/11)

In Iowa, The Percentage Of Children In Poverty Has Increased From 14 Percent In 2005 To 16 Percent In 2010. “The percentage of children in poverty has increased from 14 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2010. An increasing percentage of Iowa children are living in poverty and a quarter of the state’s children have parents who lack secure employment, according to a national study released Wednesday.” (Mary Stegmeir, “Child Poverty Is Growing Across Iowa, Report Finds,” Des Moines Register, 7/26/12)

  • “The Percentage Of Children Living In Households With A High Housing Cost Burden Increased From 25 Percent In 2005 To 27 Percent In 2010.” (Mary Stegmeir, “Child Poverty Is Growing Across Iowa, Report Finds,” Des Moines Register, 7/26/12)

Cost Of Living: One In Four Iowa Families Are Failing To Keep Up With The Rising Costs Of Living. “Nearly one in four Iowa families are failing to keep up with the rising costs of living, and the Iowa City metropolitan area ranks among the state’s most expensive places for families to live, according to a report issued Thursday.” (Josh O’Leary, “Report: One In Four Iowa Families Failing To Keep Up With Cost Of Living,” Iowa Press Citizen, 5/31/12)

  • Twenty-Three Percent Of Iowa’s Working Households Are Earning Incomes Below What Is Needed To Meet Their Basic Needs. “Twenty-three percent of the state’s working households are earning incomes below what is needed to meet their basic needs, according to a study conducted by the Iowa Policy Project, an Iowa City-based group which bills itself as a non-partisan research group. That’s nearly twice the percentage of Iowans who fall below the federal poverty threshold, the researchers said.” (Josh O’Leary, “Report: One In Four Iowa Families Failing To Keep Up With Cost Of Living,” Iowa Press Citizen, 5/31/12)
  • Co-Author Of the Iowa Policy Project Peter Fisher Notes "The Study Highlights The Inadequacy Of The Government Standards Used To Determine The Eligibility For A Number Of State And Federal Programs.” “Co-author Peter Fisher said with the research showing almost double the number of Iowa families unable to meet basic costs of living than fall below the federal poverty threshold, the study highlights the inadequacy of the government standards used to determine eligibility for a number of state and federal programs.” (Josh O’Leary, “Report: One In Four Iowa Families Failing To Keep Up With Cost Of Living,” Iowa Press Citizen, 5/31/12)

Electricity Rates: Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy Raising Rates “ For The First Time Since 1995 ” By Four Percent In 2012 And Two To Three Percent In 2013. “For the first time since 1995 MidAmerican Energy is raising rates. The company is asking the Iowa Utilities Board for a 2 year rate increase. For 2012, the company is raising prices by 4%, which is about a $2.33 monthly increase for the average homeowner. In 2013, the company is asking for another 2%-3% increase, for the average homeowner that’s about $1.30 more per month.” (Erika Cervantes, “Iowa MidAmerican Rates Increasing,” KWQC News, 2/29/12)

  • MidAmerican Energy Cites EPA Mandated Improvements As Reason For Rate Hike. “MidAmerican’s president says it’s because the EPA is mandating environmental improvements to their plants. The company has to improve the pollution system at their coal fired power plants. Also, freight is costing the company more. A long term coal transportation contract is about to expire and MidAmerican expects the rates to increase dramatically.” (Erika Cervantes, “Iowa MidAmerican Rates Increasing,” KWQC News, 2/29/12)

NATIONWIDE, OBAMA’S POLICIES HAVE FAILED THE MIDDLE CLASS

The Washington Post Headline: “Census: Middle Class Shrinks To An All-Time Low” (Carol Morello, “Census: Middle Class Shrinks To An All-Time Low,” The Washington Post , 9/12/12)

Jobs: Since President Obama Took Office, The Nation Has Lost 261,000 Jobs And The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 7.8 Percent To 8.1 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/15/12)

Unemployment: 23.1 Million Americans Are Either Unemployed, Underemployed Or Have Given Up Looking For Work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/15/12)

  • Long-Term Unemployment: The Average Duration Of Unemployment Has Nearly Doubled From 19.8 Weeks To 39.2 Weeks. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 9/15/12)

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)

  • In The Dismal Recovery, “Middle Class Jobs Have Been Replaced By McJobs.” “We said goodbye to more than eight million jobs in the downturn; we’ve added around four million back. It’s easy and dismal math. But there’s another painful dimension to this recovery that's gotten far less attention than the lingering jobs deficit. It’s the fact that most of the jobs we lost offered decent pay, while the ones we’re adding are mostly low-level, service sector positions. Middle class jobs have been replaced by McJobs.” (Jordan Weissmann, “Our Low-Wage Recovery: How McJobs Have Replaced Middle Class Jobs,” The Atlantic , 8/31/12)
  • From June 2009 To June 2012, Real Median Annual Household Incomes Have Fallen By Nearly $4,000, From $54,916 To $50,964.  “Real median annual household income fell to $53,508 from $54,916 during the 18-month recession from December 2007 to June 2009, according to the firm’s study of income data for the 36- month period ended in June 2012. Incomes kept falling during the 36-month period since then, dropping to $50,964 in June 2012.” (Jeff Kearns, “U.S. Incomes Fell More In Recovery, Sentier Says,” Bloomberg, 8/23/12)
  • Americans Of Every Demographic Earn Less Today Than They Did In June 2009. “Across the country, in almost every demographic, Americans earn less today than they did in June 2009, when the recovery technically started. As of June, the median household income for all Americans was $50,964, or 4.8 percent lower than its level three years earlier, when the inflation-adjusted median income was $53,508.” (Catherine Rampell, “Big Income Losses For Those Near Retirement,” The New York Times’ “ Economix,” 8/23/12)
  • 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)
  • Under Obama, Income Inequality Has Increased, The First Time The U.S. Gini Index Has Shown An Annual Increase Since 1993. “Income inequality between 2010 and 2011 increased as measured by changes in the shares of aggregate household income by quintiles, the Gini index, the Theil index, and the Atkinson measures. The Gini index showed a 1.6 percent increase from 2010. This is the first time the Gini index has shown an annual increase since 1993, the earliest year available for comparable measures of income inequality (Tables 2 and A-2).” (Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, “Income, Poverty, And Health Insurance Coverage In The United States: 2011,” U.S. Census Bureau, 9/12/12)

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. “About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that is designed to provide a fuller picture of poverty. Together with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line and are counted as poor, they number 146.4 million, or 48 percent of the U.S. population. That’s up by 4 million from 2009, the earliest numbers for the newly developed poverty measure.” (Hope Yen, “Census Shows 1 In 2 People Are Poor Or Low-Income,” The Associated Press, 12/15/11)

  • Since Obama Took Office, About 28 Percent Of The Population Had At Least One Spell Of Poverty Lasting 2 Months Or More. “During the 2-year period from 2009 to 2010, approximately 28.0 percent of the population had at least one spell of poverty lasting 2 or more months.” (Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, “Income, Poverty, And Health Insurance Coverage In The United States: 2011,” U.S. Census Bureau, 9/12/12)

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)

The Living Standard Of The Middle Class Has Declined Under Obama

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, 8/12)

Gas Prices: Since Obama Took Office, The Average Price Per Gallon Of Gas Has More Than Doubled From $1.847 To $3.847. (“Gasoline And Diesel Fuel Update,” U.S. Energy And Information Administration, Accessed 9/15/12)

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 Has Increased By $3,065 From $12,680 To $15,745, A 24.2 Percent Increase. (“Employer Health Benefits, 2012 Annual Survey, Exhibit 6.4,” The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012)

Student Loan Debt: The Federal Reserve Of New York Found That 27 Percent Of Student Loan Borrowers Have Past Due Balances And 21 Percent Are Delinquent. (Meta Brown, Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Maricar Mabutas, And Wilbert van der Klaauw, “Grading Student Loans,” Federal Reserve Bank Of New York, 3/5/12)

  • Average Student Loan Debt Has Surpassed $25,000. “Average student loan debt recently topped $25,000, up 25 percent in 10 years. And the mushrooming debt has direct implications for taxpayers, since 8 in 10 of these loans are government-issued or guaranteed.” (Tom Raum, “Recovery Threatened By Runaway Student Loan Debt,” The Associated Press, 4/3/12)

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