Mortimer B. Zuckerman asks the question, “How do you recover from a recovery?…”
…Just how bust the nation’s “recovery” has been is painfully documented in the latest news, just two months before the election. The Census Bureau validated what middle-class Americans know all too well from their week to week, month to month struggle to make ends meet. The typical family is back to where it was in 1995. The analysis of annual data collected by the bureau indicates that median income in 2011 had fallen to $50,054, the fourth straight year of decline in well-being, and that’s adjusted for inflation. In political terms, the Obama administration can truthfully say that the erosion had begun before the president took office, while Mitt Romney can point out that the administration spent four years of fumbling and quite failed to stop the rot.
At the same time we were clobbered by the Census numbers, the latest unemployment report landed with a dull thud: The advance figure for unemployment claims for the week ending September 8 was 382,000, up from the previous week’s revised figure of 367,000. The four-week moving average was 375,000, up 3,250 from the prior week’s average of 371,750.
With Obama’s blessing, Ben Bernanke’s busy making sure the rich get richer.
If you’re wondering why the rich are getting richer, ask Mr. Bernanke.
President Obama has accused Mitt Romney of being a “reverse Robin Hood” – taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Ironically, that’s exactly what Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is doing, with the blessing of the Obama White House. Mr. Bernanke has again opened the central bank spigots, promising another round of quantitative easing, or bond and asset purchases, aimed at keeping interest rates low for the foreseeable future.
The upshot? Rising gasoline prices which will hurt low-income Americans, reduced income for retirees, and soaring stock prices. While seniors worried how they could cope with diminished incomes, the 40 wealthiest people in the world saw their net worth jump by $29 billion this past week.
Ohio households were poorer last year than they’ve been in more than 25 years, and the number of people living in poverty is higher than it’s been in more than 30 years, according to a census report released yesterday.
“People are getting squeezed from every direction,” said James Newton, chief economic adviser to Commerce National Bank.
When adjusted for inflation, the 2010 annual median household income in Ohio of $46,093 was down by $543 from the previous year, and down 15.3 percent from the peak of $54,395 in 2000, according to the census’s Current Population Survey, which was released yesterday.
The inflation-adjusted figure hasn’t been lower for Ohio since officials began keeping that record in 1984, census officials said.
The Census Bureau released a depressing statistic Thursday: 46.2 million people in America fell below the poverty line last year. One in five children are poor.
What does it feel like to live in poverty?
Writer John Scalzi knows.
Oh, well. At least we will have universally available, “free” health care for everyone. Umm, maybe not.
Current federal regulations plus those coming under Obamacare will cost American taxpayers and businesses $1.8 trillion annually, more than twenty times the $88 billion the administration estimates, according to a new roundup provided to Secrets from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.
And it could grow, warned the author of the report, Clyde Wayne Crews, a CEI vice president.
Complying with Health and Human Services Department requirements alone, he revealed, costs $184 billion a year, yet regulators are still drafting the rules for the 2,400-page Obamacare law that kicks into gear in 2014.
Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.
The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises.
The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect.
The CRS study dealt with the work requirement for a particular class of food-stamp recipients — “able-bodied adults” between 18 and 49 years old who have no dependents. Typically the food stamp program requires that group to work or participate in a training program at least 20 hours a week to continue receiving benefits after three months. The stimulus law, though, allowed states to suspend the rule from April 2009 to October 2010 — and most states did.
In that time, the number in that group surged.
The CRS study showed that in fiscal 2010, the last year for which data was available, the number of food-stamp recipients in that group was at nearly 3.9 million. That’s up from 1.9 million in 2008.
Though food-stamp enrollment was already rising at the time in part due to the recession, the study noted the number in this group “increased more rapidly than the overall caseload.”
But, all this says nothing about Obama’s record on civil liberties.
For eight years under George W Bush, Democrats excoriated the former President and his administration for their brazen dismissal of many basic constitutional rights, and for much of Bush’s second term, it was often Barack Obama who was leading the charge. Instead, Obama has re-enforced many of them, and in the 2012 Democratic platform, most of the party’s previous positions were erased all together.
Don’t worry though, all we need is to give Obama a chance to finish the job.