The Big Fail: Not Better Off

After Three Years Of Obama’s Failed Policies, The Facts Show That Americans Are Not Better Off Than They Were

RNC Research Not Better Off Infographic


THEN: Obama Asked, “Will This Country Be Better Off Four Years From Now?” “The question in this election is not ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ We know the answer to that. The real question is, ‘Will this country be better off four years from now?’” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Sarasota, FL, 10/30/08)

NOW: Obama Admits Americans Are Not Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago. OBAMA: “Well I don’t think they are better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through.” (President Barack Obama, ABC News/Yahoo News’ Live Interview, 10/3/11)

  • OBAMA: “It Has Been Three Wrenching Years For This Country.” ”At a series of fundraisers in New York, where he raised more than $2 million for his campaign and those of other Democrats, Obama acknowledged frustration over the stalemate in Washington that has soured views of his leadership ‘After all that is happening in Washington, it may be tempting to believe that change may not be as possible as we thought,’ he told supporters. ‘It has been three wrenching years for this country,’ said Obama, whose re-election prospects hinge on his ability to heal the economy from the financial crisis that struck before he took office and to lower the 9 percent unemployment rate.” (Laura MacInnis, “Obama Pleads With Voters For Patience On ‘Change,’” Reuters, 11/30/11)

84 Percent Of Americans Say They Are “Not As Well Off” Or “About The Same” Financially Since Obama Became President. (Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 1,000 A, MoE 3.5%, 1/12 – 15/12)

  • Only 15 Percent Of Americans Say They Are Better Off Since Obama Became President(Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 1,000 A, MoE 3.5%, 1/12 – 15/12)

“Nearly Half Of U.S. Adults, 49%, Say They Are Worse Off Financially Today Than A Year Ago, While 29% Say They Are Better Off And 21% Volunteer That Their Finances Haven’t Changed.” (Lydia Saad, “Half In U.S Feel Worse Off Financially,” Gallup, 1/18/12)

  • “The Worst Evaluations Americans Have Given Of Their Finances Since Gallup Began Measuring This In 1976.” ”With barely 3 in 10 saying their finances are better, this is among the worst evaluations Americans have given of their finances since Gallup began measuring this in 1976.” (Lydia Saad, “Half In U.S Feel Worse Off Financially,” Gallup, 1/18/12)


The Number Of Unemployed Americans Has Risen Under Obama In The “Worst Jobs Recovery Since The Great Depression”

THEN: When Obama Took Office, There Were 12,049,000 Unemployed Americans And The Unemployment Rate Was 7.8 Percent(Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

  • NOW: There Are 12,758,000 Unemployed Americans, A 5.8 Percent Increase, And The Unemployment Rate Is 8.3 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

The Economy Remains In “By Far The Worst Jobs Recovery Since The Great Depression.” “Even with the recent gains, this is also by far the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression, and the U.S. still has about 5.5 million fewer jobs than it did before the recession began in December 2007.” (Editorial, “The January Jobs Thaw,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/4/12)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, The Total Nonfarm Payroll Was 133,563,000. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Said “Obama Is On Track To Have The Worst Jobs Record Of Any President In The Modern Era.” “Unless the economy turns around in the next 18 months, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era. That would be an accurate statement.” (Glenn Kessler, “Rick Perry’s Claim That Obama Has ‘Killed More Jobs’ Than Any Other President,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 8/22/11)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, 2,696,000 Americans Were Unemployed 27 Weeks Or Longer And 1,420,000 Americans Were Unemployed 52 Weeks Or Longer(Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

  • NOW: There Are 5,518,000 Americans Unemployed 27 Weeks Or Longer, An Increase Of 104 Percent, And 3,951,000 Americans Are Unemployed 52 Weeks Or Longer, An Increase Of 178 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

The Long-Term Unemployed Are Worse Off Than Those Out Of Work During The Great Depression. “Comparing the issue of long-term unemployment in the U.S. now with what happened in the 1930s, Mr. Joerres said those now out of work for a long time are actually worse off than during the Great Depression. The reason: back then, an out-of-work manufacturing employee could eventually come back to the same sort of work, even if several years of imposed idleness were imposed. Now, a long-term unemployed worker finds a job market and skill demands that essentially are in constant flux.” (Neal Lipschutz, “Is High, Single-Digit Unemployment The ‘New Normal?’” The Wall Street Journal’s “Davos Live,” 1/27/12)

  • “There Are People Who Are Going To Bear Scars For The Rest Of Their Careers.” “‘There are people who are going to bear scars for the rest of their careers,’ said Henry Farber, an economist at Princeton University.” (Ben Casselman, “Unemployment Scars Likely To Last For Years,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/9/12)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, The Average Number Of Weeks Unemployed Was 19.8 Weeks. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

  • NOW: The Average Number Of Weeks Unemployed Is 40.1 weeks, An Increase Of 103 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

The US Is At Risk Of Developing “An Underclass Of Semipermanently Unemployed Workers.” “The risk, economists say, is that the U.S. will develop an underclass of semipermanently unemployed workers, with severe consequences for productivity, public finances and even social stability. Europe, which faced a similar problem in the 1980s, is still dealing with the consequences.”  (Ben Casselman, “Unemployment Scars Likely To Last For Years,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/9/12)

  • “Once You Get Into That Type Of Situation It’s Very Hard To Get Out.” “‘We know that once you get into that type of situation it’s very hard to get out,’ said Steven Davis, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.” (Ben Casselman, “Unemployment Scars Likely To Last For Years,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/9/12)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, There Were 8,056,000 Americans Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

  • NOW: There Are 8,230,000 Americans Working Part Time For Economic Reasons, An Increase Of 174,000 Americans. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 2/7/12)

The Facts Are Clear: Obamanomics Has Failed Americans

THEN: When Obama Took Office, The Price For A Gallon Of Gas Was $1.847. (Energy Information Administration, Accessed 2/7/12)

“Get Ready For Another Round Of Pain At The Pump: $4 (Or Higher) Gasoline.” “Get ready for another round of pain at the pump: $4 (or higher) gasoline. After rising 19 cents a gallon in the past four weeks, regular unleaded gasoline now averages $3.48 a gallon, vs. $3.12 a year ago and $2.67 in February 2010. Prices could spike another 60 cents or more by May.” (Gary Strauss, “Gas Prices To Spike 60 Cents Or More In May,” USA Today, 2/5/12)

  • “Last Month Turned Out To Be The Most Expensive January Ever At U.S. Gasoline Pumps.” “Last month turned out to be the most expensive January ever at U.S. gasoline pumps, boosted by growing economic strength. January is typically a month of falling gasoline prices because fuel demand falters in the slower travel weeks that follow the year-end holidays. Not so this year.” (Ronald White, “Average U.S. Gas Prices Hover At Record-High Levels,” Los Angeles Times, 2/7/12)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, Each Person’s Share Of The National Debt Was $34,419.54. (“Debt To The Penny,”, Accessed 2/7/12)

  • NOW: The Debt Per Person Is $49,669.09, An Increase Of 44.3 Percent. (“Debt To The Penny,”, Accessed 2/7/12)

Politifact: “Obama Is The Undisputed Debt King Of The Last Five Presidents.” “So by this measurement — potentially a more important one — Obama is the undisputed debt king of the last five presidents, rather than the guy who added a piddling amount to the debt, as Pelosi’s chart suggested.” (“Nancy Pelosi Posts Questionable Chart On Debt Accumulation By Barack Obama, Predecessors,” Politifact, 5/19/11)

  • Obama Is Responsible For “The Most Rapid Increase In The Debt Under Any U.S. President.” “The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama’s watch. The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased $4 Trillion Under Obama,” CBS News, 8/22/11)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, 31,983,716 Americans Received Food Stamps. (Department Of Agriculture, 1/9/12)

15 Percent Of The Population Depend On Food Stamps. “Food stamp rolls have risen 7.8% in the past year, the Department of Agriculture reported, though the pace of growth has slowed from the depths of the recession. The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), rose to 46.3 million, or 15% of the population …” (Phil Izzo, “Food Stamp Use On The Rise,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/6/11)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, 39,829,000 Americans Were Living In Poverty. (U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)

  • NOW: There Are 46,180,000 Americans Living In Poverty, An Increase Of 15.9 Percent. (U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)

The Middle Class Is Shrinking And Millions Of Families Are Hurting. “The latest census data depict a middle class that’s shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government’s safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.” (Hope Yen, “Census Shows 1 In 2 People Are Poor Or Low-Income,” The Associated Press, 12/15/11)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, The Median Income Was $50,946. (U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)

  • NOW: The Median Income Is 49,445, A Decrease Of 2.9 Percent. (U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)

From June 2009, The Official End Of The Recession, To June 2011, Median Household Income Fell 6.7 Percent. “Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials.” (Robert Pear, “Recession Officially Over, U.S. Incomes Kept Falling,” The New York Times, 10/9/11) 

  • Median Income Is At Its Lowest Level Since 1997. “The report also indicated that median household income, adjusted for inflation, was lower last year than any year since in 1997.” (Reid J. Epstein, “Poverty Rate Highest In 18 Years,” Politico, 9/13/11)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, The Tuition For An In-State Four Year College Was $6,591. (“Trends In College Pricing 2009,” College Board, 2009-10)

  • NOW: The Tuition For An In-State Four Year College Is $8,244, An Increase Of 25 Percent. (“Trends In College Pricing 2011,” College Board, 2011-12)

The Cost Of College Is Currently At “An All Time High.” “Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. Throw in room and board, and the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year, according to the twin annual reports on college costs and student aid published Wednesday by the College Board.” (Justin Poe, “College Prices Up Again As States Slash Budgets,” The Associated Press, 10/26/11)

  • The Cost Of College Has Increased By Thousands At Public Universities. “Public four-year universities charged residents an average of $8,244, up 8.3% from last year, while public two-year schools charged an average of $2,963, up 8.7%, says the report by the non-profit College Board. About 80% of the nation’s undergraduates attend public institutions.” (Mary Beth Marklein, “Tuition And Fees Rise More Than 8% At U.S. Public Colleges,” USA Today, 10/25/11)

THEN: When Obama Took Office, The Cost Of Health Insurance For A Family Was $13,375. (Phil Galewitz And Andrew Villegas, “Workers Face Higher Costs For Employer-Sponsored Insurance,” Kaiser Health News, 9/15/09)

  • NOW: The Current Cost Of Health Insurance For A Family Is $15,073, An Increase Of 12.6 Percent. (Julie Appleby, “Cost Of Employer Insurance Plans Surge In 2011,” Kaiser Health News, 9/27/11) ObamaCare “Falls Short Of Making Health Care ‘Affordable And Available To Every Single American,’ As Promised.” ”Furthermore, the law falls short of making health care ‘affordable and available to every single American,’ as promised. The law provides subsidies to help some Americans buy insurance, expands Medicaid and doesn’t allow insurance companies to exclude persons with preexisting conditions. But still, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected 23 million persons will remain uninsured – some because they can’t afford coverage.” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,”, 1/4/12)

  • ObamaCare Is Actually Making Health Care “Less Affordable.” ”At the moment, the new law is making health care slightly less affordable. Independent health care experts say the law has caused some insurance premiums to rise. As we wrote in October, the new law has caused about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans because of requirements for increased benefits. Last year’s premium increases cast even more doubt on another promise the president has made – that the health care law would ‘lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.’” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,”, 1/4/12)