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Obama-Biden Have Dealt America A Losing Hand

- March 15, 2012

Despite The Blustery Campaign Rhetoric, The Middle Class Has Fallen Behind Under Obama And Biden

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Vice President Biden In Ohio: “The President And I Have A Fundamental Commitment To Dealing The Middle Class Back In To The American Economy. … And Ultimately That’s What This Election Is All About.  It’s About A Choice.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Excerpts Of The Vice President’s Speech In Ohio, 3/15/12)

OBAMA-BIDEN WANT TO DEAL THE MIDDLE-CLASS BACK IN BUT SKYROCKETING GAS PRICES ON THEIR WATCH ARE DEALING THEM OUT

Since Obama Took Office, The National Average For A Gallon Of Regular Gasoline Has Increased From $1.85 To $3.83. (Energy Information Administration, Accessed 3/14/12)

“Last Month Turned Out To Be The Most Expensive January Ever At U.S. Gasoline Pumps ...” (Ronald D. White, “Average U.S. Gas Prices Hover At Record-High Levels,” Los Angeles Times, 2/7/12)

 “2011 Closed Out As The Year With The Highest Average Annual Oil Price In The 150-Year History Of The Modern Oil Industry” And U.S. Gasoline Prices Hit An All Time Record Annual High For A Gallon Of Regular. “Already, 2011 closed out as the year with the highest average annual oil price in the 150-year history of the modern oil industry at $111 for a barrel of Brent crude, 13 percent higher than the previous record of $98 a barrel in 2008. U.S. gasoline prices also reached a record annual average high at $3.52 for a gallon of regular.” (Coral Davenport, “Rising Oil Prices Could Fuel Political Rage,” National Journal, 1/7/12)

  • “Government And Industry Analysts Predict That Those Prices Will Only Continue To Rise In The Coming Year.” (Coral Davenport, “Rising Oil Prices Could Fuel Political Rage,” National Journal, 1/7/12)

 “Most Americans Say Higher Prices Are Already Taking A Toll On Family Finances, And Nearly Half Say They Think That Prices Will Continue To Rise, And Stay High.” (Dan Balz And Jon Cohen, “Gas Prices Sink Obama’s Ratings On Economy, Bring Parity To Race For White House,” The Washington Post, 3/11/12)

  • 63 Percent Of Americans Say Rising Gas Prices Have Caused Financial Hardship In Their Lives, Compared To 37 Percent Who Say They Have Not. (The Washington Post/ABC Poll, 1,003A, MoE 4%, 3/7-10/12)   

89 Percent Of Americans Are Concerned With Rising Gas Prices, Compared To 10 Percent Who Say They Are Not Concerned. (The Washington Post/ABC Poll, 1,003A, MoE 4%, 3/7-10/12)   

Two-Thirds Of Americans Disapprove Of Obama’s Handling Of Gas Prices. “Gas prices are a main culprit: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation at the pump, where rising prices have already hit hard.” (Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, “Gas Prices Sink Obama’s Ratings On Economy, Bring Parity To Race For White House,” The Washington Post, 3/12/12)

OBAMACARE HAS MADE HEALTHCARE LESS AFFORDABLE FOR AMERICANS

Factcheck.org: 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,”Factcheck.org, 1/4/12)

  • Factcheck.org: 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,” Factcheck.org, 1/4/12)

Nearly Two Years After ObamaCare Was Enacted, A Government Study Found That More Americans Are Struggling To Pay Their Medical Bills Due To The High Cost Of Health Care.“While politicians and soon, the Supreme Court, are fighting about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, a new government study finds that a growing number of Americans are having difficulty coping with the high cost of health care.” (Julie Rovner, “1 In 3 Americans Is Having A Hard Time Paying Medical Bills,” NPR, 3/7/12)

  • Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Found “1 In 3 People Lived In A Family That Had Trouble Paying Its Medical Bills.” “During the first six months of 2011, 1 in 3 people lived in a family that had trouble paying its medical bills within the previous year; was currently paying a medical bill over time; or currently had a medical bill the family was unable to pay at all. That's according to a survey of more than 50,000 people by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (Julie Rovner, “1 In 3 Americans Is Having A Hard Time Paying Medical Bills,” NPR, 3/7/12)

“The Cost Of Health Insurance For Many Americans This Year Climbed More Sharply Than In Previous Years, Outstripping Any Growth In Workers’ Wages And Adding More Uncertainty About The Pace Of Rising Medical Costs.” (Reed Abelson, “U.S. Health Insurance Cost Rises Sharply, Study Finds,” The New York Times, 9/27/11)

  • Kaiser Study Found That Costs Of Family Coverage “Climbed” 9 Percent In 2011. “The average cost of a family policy climbed 9 percent in 2011 to $15,073, according to a poll of 2,088 private companies and state and local government agencies by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, California, and the Chicago- based American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust.” (Jeffrey Young, “Health-Benefit Costs Rise Most In Six Years,” Bloomberg, 9/27/11)
  • The Cost Of Single Employee Coverage Grew 8 Percent According To The Kaiser Survey. “Family plan premiums hit $15,073 on average, while coverage for single employees grew 8 percent to $5,429, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. (KHN is an editorially-independent program of the foundation.)” (Julie Appleby, “Cost Of Employer Insurance Plans Surge In 2011,” Kaiser Health News, 9/27/11)

OBAMANOMICS CONTINUES TO HURT THE MIDDLE CLASS

“Many Of The 'New Poor' Are The Former Middle Class.” “‘Many of the 'new poor' are the former middle class,’ broadcaster Tavis Smiley, who requested the study, said in a statement.” (Mary Wisniewski, “Poverty To Keep Rising Due To Slow Recovery: Study,” Reuters, 1/11/12)

Incomes Are Falling

In January, Household Incomes Declined 1.3% To $50,020. “Rising prices took a toll on Americans’ incomes as the year began, halting a four-month streak of gains and renewing concerns about the consumer’s resilience amid higher gas prices. That’s according to a report Tuesday that found real median annual household income in the U.S. declined by 1.3% in January from December, to $50,020 from $50,673.” (Brenda Cronin, “Prices Cut Into Household Incomes,” The Wall Street Journal’s “Real Time Economics,” 3/1/12)

“Personal Incomes Are Barely Keeping Pace With Inflation.” “Despite the good news on the jobs front over the past few months, personal incomes are barely keeping pace with inflation. Over the past six months, real disposable incomes are up just 0.6%, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department. That’s slower than the population’s growth. On a per capita basis, inflation-adjusted, after-tax incomes are down 0.1% in the past year to $32,675 (measured in constant 2005 dollars).” (Rex Nutting, “Disposable Incomes Stuck At 2007 Levels,” Market Watch, 3/1/12)

  • “That Means The Typical American Has Less Purchasing Power In His Or Her Pocket Now Than A Year Ago.” (Rex Nutting, “Disposable Incomes Stuck At 2007 Levels,” Market Watch, 3/1/12)
  • “And Because Income Growth Has Been So Anemic Since The Recession Began In Late 2007, Per Capita Disposable Incomes Are No Higher Today Than They Were Five Years Ago.” (Rex Nutting, “Disposable Incomes Stuck At 2007 Levels,” Market Watch, 3/1/12)

Home Prices Are Reaching New Lows

In 2011, Home Prices Fell 4 Percent To “Fresh Lows.” “Home prices fell to fresh lows in December, but economists say that a drop in the number of homes listed for sale could help stabilize prices in parts of the country this year. Home prices fell by 4% last year, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index that tracks 20 metro areas.” (Nick Timiraos, “Home Prices Hit New Depths,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/29/12)

  • In The Fourth Quarter, Home Prices Dropped In All But Two Markets. “But only two markets showed an increase in home prices during the fourth quarter. In Phoenix, home prices were up by 0.8%, while Miami reported a smaller gain of 0.2%. Detroit was the only city to post a year-over-year gain, rising by 0.5%.” (Nick Timiraos, “Home Prices Hit New Depths,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/29/12)

“These Are Times Of Continued, Great Uncertainty About Home Prices.” “‘These are times of continued, great uncertainty about home prices,’ said Robert Shiller, the Yale University economist who co-founded the index that bears his name.” (Nick Timiraos, “Home Prices Hit New Depths,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/29/12)

The Median Existing-Home Price Is $154,700, Two Percent Less Than A Year Ago.  “In a separate report on Wednesday, the national median existing-home price was $154,700 in January, down 2 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.  A glut of distressed housing — foreclosures and short sales that sell at deep discounts — are keeping prices down.” (Vicki Needham, “Housing Prices Down For The Year, Up In December,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 2/23/12)

While Food Prices Are Increasing

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 $861.20. (“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, January 2012,” USDA, 2/12)

  • “U.S. Consumers Have Balked At Price Increases, Often Turning To Cheaper Brands Or Cutting Back Altogether.” (Martinne Geller, “Food Price Increases Hurt U.S. Sales,” Reuters, 2/21/12)

“Food Prices Are On The Rise Both In The U.S. And Internationally Because Of Bad Weather And Rising Oil Prices, But Products We Use At Home Including Detergents Are Spiking As Well.” (Susanna Kim, “Beef, Laundry Detergent Prices Expected To Rise In 2012,” ABC News, 3/9/12)

The Food Index Rose 4.4 Percent In 2011. “The U.S. Consumer Price index (CPI) for all urban consumers increased 0.2 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Feb. 17. Over the last year, the food index rose 4.4 percent.” (Susanna Kim, “Beef, Laundry Detergent Prices Expected To Rise In 2012,” ABC News, 3/9/12)

In 2012, The Cost Of Beef Is Expected To Spike 10 Percent. “Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economics Solutions, an economic research firm focused on the food industry, said beef will have the most noticeable price increase this year of all foods, after record increases in 2011. Lapp's company is projecting a 12 percent increase in the cost of beef this year, most of which will be passed on to consumers. He said consumers could see increases of as much as 10 percent because a large amount of beef is sold in ‘retail cuts.’” (Susanna Kim, “Beef, Laundry Detergent Prices Expected To Rise In 2012,” ABC News, 3/9/12)

  • Chicken Prices Are Also Expected To Increase. “Chicken prices will generally be higher in 2012 because of reduced supplies as chicken producers in the U.S. faced poor margins in 2011. Lapp said the resulting cutbacks will limit supplies and lead to higher prices.” (Susanna Kim, “Beef, Laundry Detergent Prices Expected To Rise In 2012,” ABC News, 3/9/12)

THE COST OF COLLEGE HAS REACHED AN “ALL TIME HIGH”

“The Rising Cost Of A College Education And The Failure Of Federal Grants To Keep Pace Has Led To Average Student Loan Debt Hitting An All-Time High.”(Tim Grant, “Education’s Cost Crisis,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/15/11)

Since Obama Took Office, The Tuition For An In-State Four Year College Has Increased 25 Percent, From $6,591 To $8,244. ("Trends In College Pricing 2009," College Board, 2009-10; Trends In College Pricing 2011," College Board, 2011-12)

In 2011, The Cost Of College 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)

  • 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)

And Obama’s College Affordability Plan Will Do More Harm Than Good

Liberal Center For American Progress’ Matt Miller Calls Obama’s Higher Education Initiatives “Textbook Examples Of Proposals” To Get The Youth Vote But Do “Little To Address The Problem.” “The president deserves credit for calling out soaring tuition and unsustainable student debt as huge barriers to upward mobility and a strong middle class. But unfortunately, the remedies he sketched in his State of the Union address and in a speech at the University of Michigan last week are textbook examples of proposals meant to signal the president’s ‘values’ (and win votes) while doing little to address the problem.” (Matt Miller, Op-Ed, “Obama’s Disappointing College Plan,” The Washington Post, 2/1/12)

  • Obama’s Plan Translates To “More Student Debt.” “If that’s the big picture, what’s the president’s plan? He’d boost campus-based Perkins loans and target the increase to schools taking steps to slow the growth of tuition. Translation: more student debt, administered in ways that may at the margins reward colleges that have had smaller price increases than others.” (Matt Miller, Op-Ed, “Obama’s Disappointing College Plan,” The Washington Post, 2/1/12)
  • Obama’s Plan Fails At Tackling College Costs. “But is the president’s plan anywhere close to seriously tackling this major national problem? No. So sorry, Mr. President. Good enough to win reelection just isn’t good enough.” (Matt Miller, Op-Ed, “Obama’s Disappointing College Plan,” The Washington Post, 2/1/12)

Education Experts Have Expressed Concern With Obama’s Plan, Suggesting It Might Hurt Colleges, Rather Than Help.  “Some education experts, however, worry that by tying aid to costs, changes like those proposed might instead lead to lower-quality college education, with larger class sizes and greater use of adjuncts. Furthermore, they worry that public institutions suffering the most from declines in state support — and therefore under the most pressure to raise tuition — could be further hurt by losing access to some federal aid.”  (Tamar Lewin, “Obama Plan Links College Aid With Affordability,” The New York Times, 1/27/12)

  • By Tying Federal Aid To Costs, Education Experts Are Concerned That Obama’s Plan May Lower The Quality Of Education While Increasing Classroom Sizes. “Some education experts, however, worry that by tying aid to costs, changes like those proposed might instead lead to lower-quality college education, with larger class sizes and greater use of adjuncts.” (Tamar Lewin, “Obama Plan Links College Aid With Affordability,” The New York Times, 1/27/12)

WHICH EXPLAINS WHY AMERICANS DISAPPROVE OF OBAMA’S JOB PERFORMANCE

Just 46 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Obama’s Job Performance, Compared To 50 Percent Who Disapprove. “The negative movement has also stalled what had been a gradual increase since the fall in the president’s overall approval rating. In the new poll, 46 percent approve of the way Obama is handling his job; 50 percent disapprove. That’s a mirror image of his 50 to 46 positive split in early February.” (Dan Balz And Jon Cohen, “Gas Prices Sink Obama’s Ratings On Economy, Bring Parity To Race For White House,” The Washington Post, 3/11/12)

  • “39 Percent Of Those Americans ‘Strongly’ Disapprove Of Obama’s Job Performance, Compared To 28 Percent Who Say They ‘Strongly’ Approve Of Obama’s Job Performance.” (The Washington Post/ABC Poll, 1,003A, MoE 4%, 3/7-10/12)   

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