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Four Years Later

An Unhappy Second Inauguration for Many Americans
January 18, 2013 — Facts Are Stubborn Things   

While President Obama prepares for his second inauguration next week, many Americans are hoping that the next four years aren’t filled with the same failed economic policies and broken promises as the last four years.  As the table below shows, from unemployment to housing to debt, the country is worse off than when the President first took office.

The Obama-conomy

  President Obama’s
First Inauguration 
President Obama’s
Second Inauguration
Long-Term Unemployed1  2.7 Million  4.8 Million  +78%
Workforce Dropouts2  50.1 Million  54.6 Million  +10%
Food Stamp Recipients3  22.8 Million  46.6 Million  +104%
Price of Gas4
 $1.85  $3.30  +78%
“High Unemployment” States5  22  39  +77%
Misery Index6  7.83  9.46  +21%
“Typical” Monthly Family Food Cost7  $974  $1,023  +5%
Median Value of Single-Family Home8  $196,600  $186,100  -5%
Rate of Mortgage Delinquencies9  6.65%  10.77%  +62%
U.S. National Debt10  $10.6 Trillion  $16.4 Trillion  +55%

1 “Long-term unemployed” means for over 26 weeks; data for January 2009 and December 2012.
“Workforce Dropouts” are working age individuals aged 16-64 not in the labor force, not seasonally adjusted; data for December 2008 and December 2012.
“Food Stamp Recipients” means average annual participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps; data for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2012.
Average retail price per gallon, in real dollars, January 2009 week 3 and January 2013 week 2.
“High unemployment” means having a 3-month average unemployment rate of 6% or higher.  From the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Extended Benefits Trigger Notice” for January 18, 2009 and January 13, 2013.
The “Misery Index” equals unemployment plus inflation. 
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these values represent monthly “moderate” cost per family of four for January 2009 and November 2012, in real dollars.
U.S. median sales price of existing single-family homes for metropolitan areas for 2008 and 2012 Q3.
Residential mortgage delinquencies (real estate loans) for 2008 Q4 and 2012 Q3.
Values for January 21, 2009 and January 16, 2013.


SUBCOMMITTEE: Work and Welfare    SUBCOMMITTEE: Full Committee