The key reasons behind the pessimistic mood that has cast a pall of gloom across the country can be found in Gallup’s other polling data to take the economic pulse of the nation each week or so. Among them:
Unemployment: 8.0 percent.
Underemployment (people forced to take part-time or temporary jobs, or work fewer hours, because they cannot find full-time employment): 18.1 percent.
Economic confidence: minus 19.
Americans who say they are “struggling”: 44 percent.
Americans who say they are “suffering”: 6 percent.
Americans who say they are under “stress”: 13 percent.
You do not have to scour the country, or dig deeply into the nation’s economic and social data, to discover why so many Americans have become increasingly pessimistic, not just about America’s future, but about their own daily finances.
When Mr. Obama took office on Inauguration Day 2009, regular gas was selling for $1.90 a gallon. Under his restrictive, anti-fossil fuels policies, gas prices have more than doubled.
According to AAA’s nationwide gas pump surveys, the average price for a gallon of regular was $3.80 this week, and $4 or more in many sections of the country.
Mr. Obama promised us he would do something about the rising costs of medical care. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Health insurance premiums have been rising — and consumers will experience another series of price shocks later this year when some see their premiums skyrocket thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.”
Mr. Obama repeatedly has claimed that health insurance policy premiums would be $2,500 lower at the end of his first term, but prices are “actually about $3,000 higher — a spread of about $5,500 per family,” the Journal reported.
Some of Mr. Obama’s chief advisers and supporters say we had better get used to high unemployment, far slower economic growth, rising taxes and higher prices just for the essentials of life — because this is “the new normal.”
Don’t believe that for a second. The dismal, jobless economic period we are in is entirely abnormal, brought about by people and policies put into play by Mr. Obama.
Our debt didn’t just happen. It is the result of excessive spending fueled by Mr. Obama’s costly programs. Jobs are in short supply because of his anti-growth, anti-jobs policies that killed trade expansion, slowed oil drilling and raised taxes on business investment and job creation.