The Obama Economy - By the Numbers

by Gerri Willis

Mitt Romney essentially now declaring victory in the Republican Presidential Primary.

After sweeping all five races this week, he used his acceptance speech to pose the most important question of the campaign:

“Four years ago, Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change. But after we came down to earth, after the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama? Is it easier to make ends meet?”

Based on the numbers, the answer for most Americans is no. Since Obama took office, unemployment is up. You know that. You know it's harder to find a job.

But here's the really disturbing trend: The labor force participation rate. It's how many people are working, or are unemployed but looking for a job.

And this drop shows you people haven't just lost jobs. They've lost hope. Hope of ever finding work.

Labor participation is now at its lowest levels in 30 years since before women got into the labor force in masse.

And look at the change in wages. Adjusted for inflation, you've lost $3.23 off your weekly paycheck. That's $168 you won't earn this year. If just you lost that much, it may not feel devastating. But spread that wage cut across every working American.

That's a crisis.

It all adds up to this. After three and a half years of Obama in office, you are less likely to have a job, you're less likely to even consider yourself employable, and if you are lucky enough to have a job, you're making less money.

Here's a test on the President's record. Tell me when Obama said this:

“That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. ... Our economy is badly weakened. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many.”

That's the President's inauguration speech. Day one of the Obama Administration.

Is it any less true today? Consider what Obama said when he became the Democratic candidate for President in 2008.

“We Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country. We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month.”

That's how we all measure progress, and you Mr. President have come up far, far short.

When you go to the polls this November, ask yourself this:

“Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the store than it was 4 years ago?”