In the sixth year of Barack Obama's presidency, America's job-starved economy remains weak, insecure and undernourished.
That's not the economic picture reported on the nightly network news, where anchors report only "good" numbers and ignore bad ones.
But the painful reality is that the economy is slowing down, even from its widely acknowledged anemic levels.
The economic growth rate (as measured by the Gross Domestic Product) has fallen, and many economists have lowered their GDP forecasts to a snail's pace 1.5 percent annualized rate of growth for the past three months. Some say it's slowed to less than 1 percent.
The national jobless rate has risen to 7.6 percent, but is still near or well over 8 to 9 percent in 18 states, including some of the most highly populated (New York, California, Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois).
Americans aren't feeling so good about the economy and its future prospects. The Gallup Poll released the results of its consumer confidence survey on Tuesday, showing that the nation's economic confidence has fallen.
"Americans are less upbeat about the economy than they were in May and June," Gallup reported. "Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index held steady at minus-12 last week, but the current score is substantially lower than the five-year weekly high of -3 reached in late May and early June."
"The U.S. economy appears to be weaker than many economists had thought after a [Commerce Department] report... showed consumers spent cautiously in June at retail businesses," the Washington Post reported last week.
While the nightly news shows have done their best to keep any of this bad news out of their broadcasts, the American people know better. They see the evidence all around them. This economy isn't getting any better, as the President and his party wants us to believe.
With stagnant wage levels, gas prices rising to near $4 or more for a gallon of regular, higher tax rates, and the looming impact of higher Obamacare taxes and penalties for businesses that will curtail jobs, Americans are being squeezed left and right.
Last week, Obama's job approval fell into the middle 40 percent range, according to Gallup, and worried White House advisers announced the President is going to give some speeches on the economy.
Senior advisers say he's going to place all of the blame on Congress for not acting on his "job-creating" agenda, as if anyone has a clue to what that still contains.
For the past seven months of his second term, Obama's been talking about everything (in between his global sight-seeing trips) from the environment to immigration to gun control.