As President Obama prepares to be sworn in a second time, it’s a good moment to consider the state of the union during his era.
As of his first inaugural, 134.379 million Americans were working and unemployment was 7.3%. Four years later, 134.021 million are working and unemployment is 7.8%.
In January 2009, 32.2 million people were on food stamps and 13.2% of Americans lived in poverty. Now, 47.5 million receive food stamps and the poverty rate is up to 15%.
When Mr. Obama first took office, Social Security’s trustees forecast it would go broke in 2041. Now the forecast date is 2037. Medicare’s hospital trust fund will be exhausted by 2024, if not earlier.
On Jan. 20, 2009, the national debt stood at $10.627 trillion—or $34,782 for every man, woman and child. As of Tuesday, it had reached $16.435 trillion, or $52,139 for every American. The public debt was equal to 40.8% of gross domestic product on Jan. 20, 2009. By the end of last year, it had reached 72.8% of GDP and is forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to hit 76.1% this year.
When Mr. Obama assumed office, median household income was $51,190. In 2011 (the last year for which data is available), median household income was $50,054. Household income declined more during the recovery, which began when the recession officially ended in June 2009, than it did during the recession, a first for America.
Since the recession ended three and half years ago, the economy has grown an average of 0.4% a year. That compares to 1.6% growth per year for the previous decade (which covered two recessions, including the “great” one), 2.6% growth per year for the previous 20 years, and 3.2% on average since World War II.
To create jobs and growth, Mr. Obama asserts that the federal government has only a revenue problem, not a spending one. But in the last fiscal year before he took office (2008), revenues were $2.524 trillion and outlays $2.983 trillion. This fiscal year, revenues are expected to reach $2.913 trillion—but outlays have jumped to $3.554 trillion.
Again, I’d love to hear a rational explanation from his voters.