The Private Sector Is Not Doing Alright
An incoherent press conference and contradictory explanation show that if the president thinks the answer to job-killing federal policies is boosting state and local governments with borrowed money, we're really in trouble.
'Tone deaf" fails to describe President Obama's statement at Friday's press conference that "the private sector is doing fine," when median income is down 10% in three years, family net worth has plunged 39%, 23 million Americans are out of work and the official unemployment rate tops 8% for the 40th month in a row, the longest sustained period at that level since the Great Depression.
Mitt Romney's charge that the president is "out of touch" might be more accurate, but we would prefer "clueless."
The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.
The data represent one of the most detailed looks at how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross.
The findings underscore the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing. If the recession set Americans back 20 years, economists say, the road forward is sure to be a long one. And so far, the country has seen only a halting recovery.