This stuff just infuriates me.
Here's the article from the New York Times: G.O.P. Seizes on a Question: Are You Better Off Than You Were 4 Years Ago?. Read it and rend your garments:
Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, slammed President Obama’s handling of the economy on Monday, seizing on hesitant responses by Mr. Obama’s top strategists when asked whether the country was better off than it was four years ago.and
“The president can say a lot of things, but he can’t tell you you are better off,” Mr. Ryan said while campaigning in Greenville, N.C., ahead of the opening of the Democratic convention here on Tuesday.
“The middle class has been crushed under President Obama, but he doesn’t seem to get it,” said Amanda Hennenberg, a spokeswoman for Mr. Romney. “Americans deserve a president who understands we’re not better off and has a plan to fix it.”
The Obama team is there to refute it. Biden:
At a rally in Detroit, Vice President Joseph R. Biden said, “You want to know whether we’re better off? I’ve got a little bumper sticker for you. Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”I just detest this whole line of political dicourse. Maybe it's the snottiness of the Republicans hearkening back to the golden age of Reagan. Maybe it's the duplicity of the way Reagan used it originally. Maybe it's the fact that the Republicans in Congress have done everything in their power to keep things from getting better. Maybe it's the Randian self-centeredness of it: that what counts is not how We the People as a country have done, but what the world owes to ME ME ME.
On CNN, Mr. O’Malley sought to clarify his comments “We are clearly better off as a country because we’re now creating jobs rather than losing them,” he said.
“Let me just walk you through what life was like four years ago right now,” Ms. Cutter said. “In the six months before the president was elected, we lost 3.5 million jobs, wages had been going down for a decade, auto industry on the brink of failure. Our financial system, this is just about the time you’re seeing banks go under. All over America middle-class families were feeling it.”
Ms. Cutter answered the question with no hesitation, also saying that the country was “absolutely” better off now than it was.
What I'd do if I had the time and energy is set up a website where we could all counter this stupid meme and put a stake through it's heart. My contribution would read:
First of all it's a stupid question: no matter how good or bad my own situation has been, my own personal fate is not the sole measure of a president's success in guiding this nation in the direction it needs to go. But if you must know: yes, I'm a hell of a lot better off. I'm better off because the global economy is not in free-fall, because more of my friends and neighbors are working, because we have begun to extract ourselves from two disastrous wars, because we have gained back at least a measure of respect in the world, because self-interested cronies are no longer in complete control of the executive branch of government, because the Supreme Court has not yet become a completely politicized third branch of the U.S. government, and because I can sleep better at night for a thousand other reasons. ....Oh, yes, one more: because I am actually making more money than I did in 2008, if that is so damned important to you.