Remember when Obama said he wanted to be a transformational President? Not a caretaker, but a change agent. Unfortunately, the changes that I see for us are not so good.
In a country in which we assumed our paycheck will get bigger over time, the opposite has happened.
Median household income is lower. When the president took office it was $51,190 and now it’s $50,054.
Strangely, household income declined even more after the recession than during the recession.
A fluke that's beginning to feel like the new normal.
The unemployment rate is unchanged at 7.8% since Obama took office, but the numbers of us who are long-term unemployed (the people who are jobless for 27 weeks or more) has skyrocketed from 2.7 million in January 2009 to 4.8 million in December.
What's more, the labor force participating rate (the proportion of us working) has fallen to 63.6% from 65.7%. It doesn't sound like a lot, but the levels are very nearly back to the early '80s. Astonishing!
As a result, more of us are on the dole. The numbers of Americans getting food stamps or snap benefits has gone up to 47.5 million from 33 million.
Gas prices are up as well. The average price of a gallon of unleaded regular was $1.84 when he took office and today it's $3.30. It is a nearly 80% rise.
Our entitlement programs are another step closer to being broke.
Meanwhile, spending on pork barrel projects continue. In fact, it's gone up $3.3 billion last year from $19.6 billion in 2009. In other words, we may be broke, but there is always room for a little grease for Congressmen's districts.
One ray of sunshine, stocks are up. The S&P 500 as moved dramatically up 84% over the President's tenure, not that he can claim all that much credit. The rebound comes from a very low base at a time the very viability of the nation's banks was in question.
That's a legacy our children and grandchildren don't need.
Barack Obama has been a transformational President. He’s a President who has transformed our country, but not in a way that I like.
Today the President made the case for big government. He said "collective action" was called for to bolster entitlement programs, boost green spending, and keep things "fair" for everybody.
I believe we need more personal freedom to grow our economy, lift people out of unemployment and poverty, and bring a renewed energy to our country.
Gerri Willis is the host of "The Willis Report" (5PM/ET), a primetime program that covers the leading financial and political stories of the day and their impact on consumers. Click here to see more from Gerri Willis.