Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Report Card: Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

As Democrats start their National Convention this week and with the adoring press gushing over every word they say without question, perhaps it is time we compile a report card.  Let's call it: 

Those Discomforting Facts The Democrats 
Don't Want to Talk About This Election.

Local Congressional Candidate Brad Schneider (D-10th) is crystal clear. He completely supports President Obama's policies and statements and will continue to do so if they are elected. No exceptions.

A nice three day weekend found me cruising on Google and digging up a whole bunch of little gems the Democrats don't want to talk about.

So let's take a look at what President has said and done these past four years:

What he said: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things. And you know what? It's worked before, because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government.” (Acceptance Speech: Barak Obama, DNC Convention, Denver, 2008.)

What he has done: Run the most negative campaign in modern U.S. History. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling this summer including visiting a few “swing states.” The Obama television ads paint his opponent as someone people should run from and make a big election about small things. Cynical? Wow! We don’t see those ads in Illinois.

What he said: "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 so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president... when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000, like it has under George Bush." (Acceptance Speech: Barak Obama, DNC Convention, Denver, 2008.)

What he has done: Since President Obama took office, the Nation has lost 316,000 jobs. Since President Obama took office, the national unemployment rate has increased from 7.8% to 8.3%. The Nation's unemployment rate has been above 8% for 42 straight months. The average duration of workers on unemployment insurance has doubled from 19.8 weeks to 38.8 weeks. The total number of unemployed, underemployed, or those who have given up looking for work and are no longer being counted is 23.6 million, yet another increase. The number of food stamp recipients increased by 46% or from 31.9 million to 46.7 million individuals. Real median household income dropped by over 9% or by $4,300.00 a year. 

Since President Obama took office, families having no savings at all increased from 18.5% to 23.4%. The price of a gallon of gasoline has more than doubled from $1.85 to $3.75 nationally. In our area, it has increased from $2.38 to $4.35 gallon. Add .24 cents if you buy gas in Chicago. Food prices have surged 10%, far faster than the stagnant rate of inflation. The net worth of every American family has plunged 40% across the board, to the lowest levels in two decades. Average four year tuition college costs increased 25%. And real medium household income continues to drop at an alarming rate.

What he said: "I will -- listen now -- I will cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class." (Acceptance Speech: Barak Obama, DNC Convention, Denver, 2008.)

What he has done: Argued for the abolishment of the "Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which will raise our federal income taxes by $2,200.00 for each family earning $50,000.00 annually. A single mother earning $36,000.00 will pay nearly $1,100.00 more in federal income taxes. A married senior couple earning $40,000.00 will pay nearly $1,700.00 more in federal income taxes. The 10% tax bracket would also be eliminated, raising taxes by nearly $502.00 annually on the lowest earning who pay income taxes. Those paying income taxes under the Alternative Minimum Tax would see similar increases.  Are these folks not the middle class?

What he said: (On Tax Increases) "That is a reasonable proposition. So, when you hear folks saying 'Well, the president shouldn't want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.' Nobody's looking to raise taxes right now. We're talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years." (President Barack Obama, press conference, Washington, DC, 7/11/11)

What he has done:  Not put out any television or print advertising which states that he will raise your taxes in 2013. As I wrote in my very first article on this blog: "Check fil-A Coming to Your Next Federal Tax Return, http://www.blogger.com/blogger.gblogID=3311988854862250286#editor/target=post;postID=545728647505405742, The Heritage Foundation issued a report indicating that in the Illinois 10th Congressional District, should the "Bush tax cuts" expire, families would pay more than $7,605.00 per return. That represents $20.84 per day, or $145.85 per week. Nationally families would pay more than $4,100.00 per return. That's $11.23 per day nationally or $78.61 weekly. Anyone have $145.85 per week they can give to our Federal Government? Or nationally, $78.61 a week? And we would all feel the pinch with our first paychecks received after January 1, 2013.

The Wall Street Journal calls this a monumental tax increase. Obama's plan would raise taxes across the board on anyone or any business owners making more than $200,000.00 for individuals and $250,000.00 for couples, including subchapter "S" corporations. The proposed FY2013 budget of Obama calls for $1.9 trillion in higher taxes. Obama has already admitted that increasing taxes on the 2% of the wealthiest amongst us will not result in $1.9 trillion.

Is that a reasonable proposition? 

What he said: "If you have health care -- if you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums." (Acceptance Speech: Barack Obama, DNC Convention, Denver, CO, 2008). In fact, the President later claimed our premiums would be lowered by $2,500.00 a year after "Obamacare" was passed.

What he has done: In his first two years of office, the average cost of family health care premiums increased over 16% from $12,680.00 to $15,073.00. FactCheck.org found the new law is making health insurance premiums rise. According to the Washington Post's The Fact Checker, this is due to new benefits mandated by the law. The Congressional Budget Office updated their estimates and now states that family health care premiums will increase $2,404.00 annually. Remember, this coverage is mandated and is a tax with penalties for non-compliance.

What he said: "And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power, and solar power, and the next generation of biofuels -- an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced." (Acceptance Speech: Barack Obama, DNC National Convention, Denver, 2008)

What he has done: Various newspaper articles tell the real story. The New York Times complained the Green Economy is not providing to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned (8/18/11), that each "green job" cost $2 million dollars, (9/5/11). The Wall Street Journal complained the failure of Obama's Green Jobs programs gets more embarrassing by the day in an editorial entitled "Green Jobs Brown Out" (10/11/11), and Reuters reported that the millions of "Green Jobs" Obama promised have been slow to sprout. (4/13/12) This after spending $35.2 billion in stimulus funds on green initiatives. (Wall Street Journal, 10/12/11).

What he said: "But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st-century challenges with a 20th-century bureaucracy." (Acceptance Speech Barack Obama, DNC Convention, Denver, 2008.)

What he has done: The Office of Management and Budget tells the truth here: The federal government spent $3.1 trillion in FY2008 in inflation adjusted dollars. In FY2012 the federal government spent $3.8 trillion dollars. From 1969 To 2008 Federal Government spending represented an average of 20.6% Of GDP, Obama's Proposed FY2013 budget calls for spending 22.8% Of GDP by FY2022. Government spending as a share of the economy has been nearly 24% during the Obama years, elevated over the historical average of 20.7% over the past 40 years.

Brad Schneider (D) in his quest to become a Congressman in this 10th Congressional District of Illinois completely and fully supports President Obama.  

So let's ask the question no Democrat wants to answer: Are we better off now than we were four years ago?  

How would you grade this report card? Or would you rather just change the subject the way Democrats are doing right now? 

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bloomberg News. USA Today. U.S. Energy and Information Administration. Washington Post. Trends, College Board Report. Joint Committee on Taxation. The Heritage Foundation. Kaiser Family Foundation. FactCheck.org. The Washington Post's The Fact Checker. Congressional Budget Office. The New York Times. Reuters.The Wall Street Journal.


  1. You left out the best quotation. Obama said if he can't turn it around in 3 years then this will be a one term proposition. He was right and it should be only one term.

    Trebor of Libertyville

  2. I didn't see anything in your commentary about Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate majority leader, saying, "our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term." Could politically motivated Republican obstructionism be responsible for any of the lack of progress that you complain of?

  3. Anon. 6:57, I didn't realize that Mitch McConnell was running for President or was the leader of the majority party in the U.S. Senate. If the party having the most votes (Democratic Party) controls the U.S. Senate, then the ability of the GOP to "obstruct" programs and legislation is extremely limited.

    It appears that the "do-nothing" House of Representatives controlled by Republicans has been busy sending bills to the U.S. Senate where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) either refuses to call them for a vote, or sends them to certain committees where they simply fade way. Perhaps we should call him "Stonewall" Harry Reid for his actions the past two years.

    Nice to see you agree there is a lack of progress!