October 21, 2011
“[E]ven though I believe all the choices we've made have been the right ones, we're still going through difficult circumstances."
—President Obama, Interview with ABC News, October 18, 2011
After nearly three years of runaway deficit spending, the threat of higher taxes, and a glut of new regulations threatening all sectors of the economy, President Obama and Democrats in Congress continue pushing reckless policies to grow government at the expense of the American worker. With 14 million Americans out-of-work searching for a job in this stagnant economy, the president should reexamine his logic before his policies drive the country further into a hole.
Economic Outcomes of the President’s Choices
- Record Unemployment: The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 32 consecutive months, despite the Democrat promises that their $1.2 trillion stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent. This chronically high unemployment is the longest such stretch since the Great Depression. In fact, a recent U.S. News & World Report article pointed out that an unprecedented 26 million Americans are underemployed.
- Household Income Declines Faster than During the Recession: According to a recent report from Sentier Research, median annual household income has fallen significantly more during the economic recovery period from June 2009 to June 2011 than during the recession lasting from December 2007 to June 2009. During the recession, real median annual household income fell by 3.2 percent, from $55,309 in December 2007 to $53,518 in June 2009. During the economic recovery period, real median annual household income fell by an additional 6.7 percent, from $53,518 in June 2009 to $49,909 in June 2011.
- Falling Weekly Earnings: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average weekly earnings for employed workers—which actually grew during the recession—have declined since the president’s stimulus. Inflation adjusted weekly earnings grew by 3.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 when the recession began to the second quarter of 2009 when it ended. Since the end of the recession, weekly earnings have fallen by 2.3 percent under President Obama’s stimulus policies.
- Standard of Living Falls at Record Pace: The Christian Science Monitor recently reported, “The standard of living for Americans has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the US government began recording it five decades ago. Bottom line: The average individual now has $1,315 less in disposable income than he or she did three years ago at the onset of the Great Recession...”
- Record Poverty: In 2010, 46.2 million Americans were in poverty. The number of Americans in poverty in 2010 is the largest number in the 52 years in which poverty estimates have been published by the Census Bureau.
- Record Number of Food Stamp Recipients: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 46 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, have received government aid (i.e., food stamps) to buy food this year.
- Misery Index Rises: On October 20, 2011, Reuters reported, “An unofficial gauge of human misery in the United States rose last month to a 28-year high as Americans struggled with rising inflation and high unemployment.”
The Republican Plan for Job Creators
The Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators is focused on removing government obstacles to long-term economic growth—the kind of reforms needed to end the uncertainty facing small businesses and help create new private-sector jobs. Learn more about the GOP plan and track the progress of House-passed jobs bills at jobs.GOP.gov.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office