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What’s up and what’s down since November 2008?

The chance of finding a job is down; 13 million are looking but can’t find one. The odds you are working part time but would like to work full time are up; 9 million Americans can only find part-time work.

The labor force participation rate is down, and is at a 30-year low of 64 percent. The price of a gallon of gas is up, from $1.80 in 2008 to more than $3.50 today. Oil and gas production on federal lands is down by 40 percent. The number of coal-fired power plants is down, with 124 shut down since 2008 and another 175 scheduled to be shut down over the next two years, representing 27 gigawatts, with nothing in the pipeline to replace this cheap energy. This should cause your power bill to skyrocket.

The number of Americans (and non-Americans) on food stamps is up, from 28 million in 2008 to 44.7 million today. The number of Americans on disability is up to 9 million and setting a new record each month.

The rate of economic growth is down to 1.3 percent. The gross domestic product growth rate under President Obama is on course to be the worst economic growth rate since record-keeping began. American household income is down by 7 percent since 2009. Health-insurance premiums for families are up by $3,000, or 24 percent, since 2008.

The number of apologies from America to other countries is up. Federal spending is up from a 40-year average of 20 percent of GDP to more than 24 percent under Obama. The number of federal employees making more than $150,000 per year jumped from 1,800 to more than 10,000 under Obama, along with the size of the federal work force.

The number of Americans living below the poverty line is up to 46.2 million, the highest level since record-keeping began. The number of Americans with an “Obama phone” is up to 12.5 million with a cost that has gone from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion today.

The size of the federal deficit is up – way up.

Hope is down. Many have lost hope. I could go on, but space is limited. We must have a change in November.

Robert Sheffer

North Augusta, S.C.

Comments (35) Add comment
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omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 10/20/12 - 06:09 am
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5
unfortunately with regards to

unfortunately with regards to the presidency the "change" is limited to one other party that is complicit in the rising oil prices, an outstanding national debt, and skyrocketing cost of living.

American exceptionalism! wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

YeCats
11284
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YeCats 10/20/12 - 08:28 am
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But, I'm not voting parties,

But, I'm not voting parties, I'm voting for "the" man.

Any fact checkers care to dispute Mr. Sheffer's statistics?

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 08:41 am
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Well, here is the first one

Well, here is the first one YeCats.

"The chance of finding a job is down"

When over 750,000 jobs are being lost a month four years ago, and today there is a net increase of over 100,000 jobs gained, I would say chances of keeping and finding your job today is better than four years ago.

dichotomy
34491
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dichotomy 10/20/12 - 09:21 am
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"The labor force

"The labor force participation rate is down, and is at a 30-year low of 64 percent."

That means that there are less and less working people supporting more and more non-working people. I am really curious to see how people react when we cannot borrow any more money to keep this going. That day is coming and when it does it will be an overnight thing......like Greece, Spain, and other socialist countries that our president so much admires. Will he be proud of his "work" when his constituents are in the streets rioting and throwing molotov cocktails? It's coming if we don't change our ways.

YeCats
11284
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YeCats 10/20/12 - 09:49 am
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Tparty, Mr. Sheffer's letter

Tparty, Mr. Sheffer's letter does state an increase in government jobs,(great paying jobs). He's correct on that one, right?

The first question, of the 2nd debate, was a 20 year old college student who asked what was his chance of FINDING a job, when he graduated. "5 pt plan" and "your future is bright", is all he was told. Is his best prospect going to be working for the Fed?

RMSHEFF
16707
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RMSHEFF 10/20/12 - 09:53 am
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The economy is bouncing along

The economy is bouncing along the bottom. Investors and businesses are on the sidelines because of the political climate. They fear the Federal government who is more interested in "fairness" and "equality" than an environment that would allow job creation. The Federal Government has become an enemy of free markets.

bubbasauce
22194
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bubbasauce 10/20/12 - 10:28 am
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4
Man it doesn't take T party

Man it doesn't take T party and all the other libbies long to get to the excuse, "4 years ago we were ", enough already. That has become very lame,
. Is that all you got? Good grief!

Little Lamb
47011
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Little Lamb 10/20/12 - 11:38 am
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Facts are stubborn things

I rate Mr. Sheffer's LTE as the best one of the year. Real wages are down while gasoline (plus other forms of energy) and food prices are up. Of course, the 44.7 million people with food stamps don't mind the increase in food prices. That's 44.7 million votes for Obama, part of the 47%.

Little Lamb
47011
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Little Lamb 10/20/12 - 11:42 am
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Better than the bottom

bubbasauce makes a good point. If you are comparing conditions today versus the absolute bottom of the recession, yes, things may be slightly better. But those who have given up, have resigned themselves to dependency, have lowered their dreams and aspirations, have assigned themselves to disability insurance payments (many with false claims) are not what the American spirit is all about. I feel for them, but we must institute a change in our government and do something better in the next four years than was done to us in the last four years.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 12:14 pm
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"Tparty, Mr. Sheffer's letter

"Tparty, Mr. Sheffer's letter does state an increase in government jobs,(great paying jobs). He's correct on that one, right?"

Uh, no. Government employment is down 2.6 percent over the last three years, compared to a decline of 2.2 percent in the early Reagan years. That is a record. While government employment is going down (People basically losing their jobs) private employment numbers have been rising. Again- over 750,000 jobs being lost monthly since four years ago, to over 100,000 being added monthly today.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 12:20 pm
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bubbasauce

Yeah- I'm not a liberal. But again- I'm accused of being one because of reality and facts being used.

"long to get to the excuse, "4 years ago we were ", enough already. That has become very lame,
. Is that all you got? Good grief!"

I have to honest. I do not know what your point here is. Is there an excuse or something here, saying four years ago over 750,000 American jobs were being lost where as today... where as how many months of positive growth has there been? No longer is the bottom falling out- and things are getting better. Is that lame part? I don't understand.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 12:31 pm
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YeCats-

"The first question, of the 2nd debate, was a 20 year old college student who asked what was his chance of FINDING a job, when he graduated. "5 pt plan" and "your future is bright", is all he was told. Is his best prospect going to be working for the Fed?"
---------

Here are the replies from the debate, from Romney (Minus the hellos and thanks you)

Don't want to read it all: Basically Romney says he knows how to get this kid a job and he is going to change things. Doesn't say how. Except he wants to grow Pell Grants program, and have some loan program, if you did well in high school, he will give you four years tuition free in the college of your choice.

Romney:

Your question -- your question is one that's being asked by college kids all over this country. I was in Pennsylvania with someone who had just graduated -- this was in Philadelphia -- and she said, "I've got my degree. I can't find a job. I've got three part- time jobs. They're just barely enough to pay for my food and pay for an apartment. I can't begin to pay back my student loans."

So what we have to do is two things. We have to make sure that we make it easier for kids to afford college.

And also make sure that when they get out of college, there's a job. When I was governor of Massachusetts, to get a high school degree, you had to pass an exam. If you graduated in the top quarter of your airlines, we gave you a John and Abigail Adams scholarship, four years tuition free in the college of your choice in Massachusetts, it's a public institution.

I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. We're also going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school. But the key thing is to make sure you can get a job when you get out of school. And what's happened over the last four years has been very, very hard for America's young people. I want you to be able to get a job.

I know what it takes to get this economy going. With half of college kids graduating this year without a college -- excuse me, without a job. And without a college level job, that's just unacceptable.

And likewise you've got more and more debt on your back. So more debt and less jobs. I'm going to change that. I know what it takes to create good jobs again. I know what it takes to make sure that you have the kind of opportunity you deserve. And kids across this country are going to recognize, we're bringing back an economy.

It's not going to be like the last four years. The middle-class has been crushed over the last four years, and jobs have been too scarce. I know what it takes to bring them back, and I'm going to do that, and make sure that when you graduate -- when do you graduate?

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 12:37 pm
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Obama's answer: Short

Obama's answer:

Short version: Bright future. Build on jobs that are growing in this country. Education: Everyone should get affordable loans for college, and adults working today can go to school in the evenings for retraining and jobs in the future. Energy, and talking points about deficit, to pay for investments like education. And move money from wars to reinvesting in infrastructure in America. He have three out five points.

From Obama:

First of all, your future is bright. And the fact that you're making an investment in higher education is critical. Not just to you, but to the entire nation. Now, the most important thing we can do is to make sure that we are creating jobs in this country. But not just jobs, good paying jobs. Ones that can support a family.

And what I want to do, is build on the five million jobs that we've created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone. And there are a bunch of things we can do to make sure your future is bright.

Number one, I want to build manufacturing jobs in this country again. Now when Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt. I said we're going to bet on American workers and the American auto industry and it's come surging back.

I want to do that in industries, not just in Detroit, but all across the country and that means we change our tax code so we're giving incentives to companies that are investing here in the United States and creating jobs here.

It also means we're helping them and small businesses to export all around the world to new markets.

Number two, we've got to make sure that we have the best education system in the world. And the fact that you're going to college is great, but I want everybody to get a great education and we've worked hard to make sure that student loans are available for folks like you, but I also want to make sure that community colleges are offering slots for workers to get retrained for the jobs that are out there right now and the jobs of the future.

Number three, we've got to control our own energy. Now, not only oil and natural gas, which we've been investing in; but also, we've got to make sure we're building the energy source of the future, not just thinking about next year, but ten years from now, 20 years from now. That's why we've invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energy efficient cars.

We've got to reduce our deficit, but we've got to do it in a balanced way. Asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more along with cuts so that we can invest in education like yours.

And let's take the money that we've been spending on war over the last decade to rebuild America, roads, bridges schools. We do those things, not only is your future going to be bright but America's future is going to bright as well.

swcohen
600
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swcohen 10/20/12 - 01:52 pm
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3
Ain't scared of the dark

"... representing 27 gigawatts, with nothing in the pipeline to replace this cheap energy. This should cause your power bill to skyrocket."

Demagogery, without a milliwatt of truth to it.

Coal-fired generating units are being taken offline because most of them are 60, 70, even 80 years old, and at the very end of their life cycles. Electric utilities are replacing them with gas-fired and combined cycle units largely because of the glut of cheap natural gas that hydraulic fracturing has made available. Gas is also a vastly cleaner fuel than coal, and helps utilities meet ever more stringent EPA regulations. Gas is a far superior fuel than coal for power generation.
Getting it to the plant dowsn't require mining, loading, transporting by rail, and feeding it into a pulverizer... Just pipeline it in from the gas distribution center to the plant, and burn it. With gas there's also no toxic ash mound to monitor for decades.

Nearly all of the 124 units the letter writer cites as being shut down since 2008 are in the process of or have already been rebuilt to use the cleaner fuel. Nearly all of the 175 he cites as being scheduled for shutdown over the next two years will be refitted as well. Notice I said "nearly all?" Hard to believe, but power generation capacity exceeds demand in some areas of the country, even if it's near capacity in others. With integrated transmission systems, it's often cheaper for a utility to buy power from another company than to make their own.The electricity in your outlets could have come from anywhere, kind of like the milk in your fridge. Some plants get mothballed because they're simply not needed right now.

A word about the EPA... I realize that any regulation of commerce is anathema to the political right, but this most hated agency exists so your children won't have to live in a country whose air, land, and water will resemble Pittsburgh circa-1958. And yes, I'm fully aware that some other industrial countries... BRIC... don't play by these rules. But to say that we shouldn't either is like saying "some of my neighbors smoke, I might as well too."

By the way... coal prices are way down. Nobody is buying the stuff. Right now, there's no financial gain to be had for mining companies to take it out of the ground. You know those long coal trains that you sometimes see winding through Augusta? You can probably scrape together enough cash from what you have lying around the house to go buy yourself a carload of it. Makes great Christmas presents for bad little children!

allhans
24030
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allhans 10/20/12 - 02:16 pm
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3
In just over two short weeks

In just over two short weeks we can stop this discussion....thank goodness!

VOTE Romney-Ryan....

WE CAN do this..

RMSHEFF
16707
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RMSHEFF 10/20/12 - 02:29 pm
4
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swcohen

Coal is and always has been the cheapest way to generate power. Natural Gas is the second cheapest way to generate power. The owners of coal fired power plants have began to shut them down or replace them with natural gas plants because of the EPA regulation which has made prohibitively expensive to comply.

This has been accomplished in just the way Obama said he would, the following is a quote Obama made in 2008: "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted". It is too expensive to comply with the EPA rules.

This same policy of regulating things out of existence is also happening in the car industry with the Obama CAFE standards which require an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Say good by to most cars over 2000 lbs.

RMSHEFF
16707
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RMSHEFF 10/20/12 - 02:37 pm
3
2
Oh, and by the way, Obama has

Oh, and by the way, Obama has begun to crack down on fracking!
"Under my plan energy prices will necessarily skyrocket"

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/04/news/economy/fracking_rules/index.htm

bubbasauce
22194
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bubbasauce 10/20/12 - 02:59 pm
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You have that exactly right

You have that exactly right allhans, just two more weeks and all this will be behind us! Thank God!! Oh my, am I allowed to say that in this in the USA today? Techfan, you didn't have to repeat everything that was said from Romney and Obammma about jobs. I think most caring people watched the debate. My point is every time I try to have an intelligent conversation about Obama vs. Romney all they got for replies are, well four years ago.......Do you get the point yet? What has Obama done for me lately. Hey, isn't that a song by Janet Jackson? I forgot I have a job.

..

RMSHEFF
16707
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RMSHEFF 10/20/12 - 03:10 pm
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TParty

Unemployment stats are made very difficult to understand because the Federal government is in charge of reporting them. The best way to understand how the economy is doing is to look at the total number of people working and there are 500,000 fewer people working today than when Obama took office. If there are 500,000 fewer people working today than when he took office how does Obama claim he has created even one job? He has lost 500,000 jobs ! There are at least 100,000 people entering the job market each month as the become of age or graduate from college. The only way Obama can make his claim is to "shrink" the universe of jobs through a false decrease in available workers. Look at the labor force precipitation rate ! The Bottom Line: Obama has lost a total of -1,633,000 net jobs since he entered office. Not one new net job has been gained since the year 2007. The percentage of unemployed, plus marginally attached and discouraged workers stands at 10.5% as of December 2011, versus an average of 5.5% to 7.0% during the prior eight years. The civilian labor force has contracted by -739,000 workers since February of 2009, for an average loss of -246,333 per year, versus average growth of 1,304,500 per year in the eight years prior to Obama. So perhaps, Obama’s latest fabrication isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Hope and Change is over rated.

Little Lamb
47011
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Little Lamb 10/20/12 - 03:21 pm
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Light

Thank you, RMSHEFF, for shedding light on the subject of employment, and especially unemployment statistics from the government. Four years and we're still scratching our way out of a hole, with the government working hard to impede our progress.

KSL
134725
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KSL 10/20/12 - 03:31 pm
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2
tparty

Government jobs may well be down, but you need to read the letter a little more closely.

KSL
134725
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KSL 10/20/12 - 03:55 pm
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A little eddification for tparty

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesti...

225,000 more federal employees since 2008, a number of them working for Michelle.

17,000 more IRS employees coming with Obamacare.

That idiot in the White House (well he isn't there that much, actually), answers a college kid's question about jobs by talking about bringing back manufacturing. Now, I don't know about y'all, but I don't want to spend the money college costs to come out and work on an assembly line (unless it is for GM).

KSL
134725
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KSL 10/20/12 - 04:01 pm
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1
Not everyone needs to go to

Not everyone needs to go to college. We need trained people to do those manufacturing jobs.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 04:31 pm
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"What has Obama done for me

"What has Obama done for me lately."

What have you done for yourself or other people lately?

Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 10/20/12 - 04:44 pm
1
0
OMG! Salt Lake City?

Can you believe that the home of "Myth Romney's" faith has this to say about him?

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55019844-82/endorsement-romney-obam...

What was of particular interest were the comments on the article from Myth's other home, Massachussetts. These are folks who know the man inside and out. How embarrassing this must be to Romney's supporters.

Mr. FlipFlop himself. The lies are catching up to him like a whirlwind.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 04:50 pm
2
2
"The best way to understand

"The best way to understand how the economy is doing is to look at the total number of people working and there are 500,000 fewer people working today than when Obama took office."

"Not one new net job has been gained since the year 2007."

Correct. In 2007, the financial system collapsed and people were losing their jobs, and homes, and banks were failing. And it was free falling. When Obama took office in 2009, it was still like that. His first month, almost 800,000 jobs were lost. In fact with the exception of one month- his first year was nothing but job losses.

However- look how things have changed. First, the free fall of jobs stopped. And slowly- it has been climbing back out. And how many months has it been with positive job growth? More people gaining employment rather than losing it? It's going to take time.

Now, that cannot be disputed- because those are facts.

Now- people can say "These things Obama has done is holding back a faster recovery. Here is what Romney will do that will make things be quicker."

Things are getting better. Some people don't like looking back four/five years ago to compare- whatever. Things are getting better. Might not be happy with the speed of it. That's legitimate.

KSL
134725
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KSL 10/20/12 - 05:15 pm
5
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Depends on who you ask

If things are getting better. Take a builder I know of who sold 11 houses in a particular subdivision last year and only 4 so far this year.

KSL
134725
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KSL 10/20/12 - 05:20 pm
4
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By the way

The main financial meltdown occurred in 2008 and was in part orchestrated by the Democrats to insure the election.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/20/12 - 05:36 pm
3
2
It does depend on who you

It does depend on who you ask, KSL. Because I know my builder is expanding, and hiring more realtors. All homes in my subdivision sold, the one next to it are going quickly. And my two realtors are working in more areas, and posting more and more vacation pictures on their facebook. So yeah- it does depend on who you ask. Regardless of how awesome my builder is doing and how poorly yours is doing- taking a small sample isn't much to see the entire picture.

However early this spring- more and more articles are being written about the housing market finally turning around. Just gotta do your research.

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