- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
LAMBRO: Obama’s fate turns on ‘better off’ query
Voters’ tally of crucial numbers adds up to a convincing ‘no’
Are you better off than you were four years ago? That is the politically pivotal question that will ultimately determine the outcome of the 2012 presidential election. This, of course, was the question former Gov. Ronald Reagan posed in his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter. The answer was a landslide that swept Mr. Carter out of office after just one term and launched what was to become one of the most transformative presidencies in modern American history.
When Reagan posed the question, he said voters should ask themselves: “Is it easier for you to go buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago?” Thirty-two years later, Mr. Romney’s list of economic and fiscal questions will be much longer than the basic bread-and-butter problems Reagan recited.
Here’s a sampling of the major issues, drawn up by Jeff Bergner of the Weekly Standard, that Mr. Romney may include when he asks voters whether they are better off now than they were when they went to the polls in November of 2008 to elect Mr. Obama:
The unemployment rate: 6.8 percent in November 2008 is 8.2 percent now and rising in at least 22 states.
The national poverty rate: 13.2 percent then and 15.1 percent now.
Americans on food stamps: 30.9 million then, 44.7 million now.
A gallon of regular gasoline: $2.40 then, $3.60 now.
Homeownership rate: 67.8 percent then, 65.4 percent now.
The percentage of Americans without health insurance: 16 percent then, 17.7 percent now.
America’s median household income: $50,203 then, $49,445 now.
The number of Americans participating in the labor force: 65.8 percent then, but now down to 63.8 percent because millions of discouraged job seekers have stopped looking for work.
The annual budget deficit: $459 billion in fiscal 2008, but $1.32 trillion in fiscal 2012.
The federal debt: $10.57 trillion then, $15.69 trillion now.
The number of civilian federal employees: 2.67 million then, 2.75 million now.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Get Breaking Alerts
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- MEANS: U.S. economy on schedule to crash March 4, 2014
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Turkey not committed to Cyprus peace
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama's flawed Mideast 'peace' plan
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Foreign policy would distract Obama from social hour
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hit Putin where it hurts over Ukraine