WASHINGTON– “They are stealing our children’s future,” says Dwane Ponx of West Des Moines, Iowa. “And we are letting them.”
Having accepted his party’s nomination for re-election, President Obama touted his track record, claiming that he eased the worst economy since the Great Depression. But the president faces an uphill battle in convincing voters to give him a second term: unemployment is worse, incomes are down and the deficit is up.
Today, the unemployment rate is higher than on the day President Obama was sworn into office in 2008. Some 12.8 million Americans are officially out of work, according to the government. But the real unemployment level is closer to over 20 million when everyone else — people who’ve given up looking for work, have run out of unemployment benefits or are only partially employed — are included.
Middle class households are hurting, too: median income has dropped to $50,046. Net worth has shrunk. Suburbs, home to the American middle class, now have more poor people than cities. For example, as many as four in ten households in suburban Long Island, New York have slipped into poverty. Meanwhile, the federal deficit is up to over $16 trillion — which translates into more than $140,000 in debt for every American taxpayer.
As the president heads out on the campaign trail, 52 percent of Americans say the country is in worse shape than it was four years ago. “Just say no to big government,” says Ponx. “Your kids are counting on you.”