WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama continues to tell us that the quality of our lives and our economy have improved, when all the available evidence shows they have not. In fact, they've grown worse under his policies.
Recent economic data, studies and government reports reveal a nation in persistent decline and showing very little, if any, improvement in the lives of millions of Americans.
Incomes have fallen, poverty and homeless rates have risen, and full-time jobs are much harder to come by. Low-pay, part-time jobs are surging, even while the work force is shrinking. Workers are losing their health insurance under Obamacare, confidence in the American economy is dropping, according to the latest Gallup poll, and Obama's job approval polls have sunk to the low 40s.
How can this be? We haven't heard that on the nightly news programs. They keep telling us that things are getting better.
But The Washington Post, in a story that should have run on Page One but was thrown on Page 11, reported Thursday that "the buying power of Americans continues to be weaker than it was when the recession ended four years ago ..."
"Inflation-adjusted median household income has declined 4.4 percent ... since June 2009," the year Obama became president and the recession supposedly ended, according to a report by Sentier Research, a data-analysis group run by two former U.S. Census Bureau officials.
While average incomes have risen for some Americans, "it remains 6.1 percent below where it stood when the country toppled into recession in December 2007," writes Post reporter Michael A. Fletcher.
And if you think the decline in incomes is mostly among poor, undereducated minorities, think again. The nation's median income "is lagging across education levels and racial groups," the report said.
While Obama insists the economy has improved since he became president, the facts tell a far different story.
U.S. median income (which is the midpoint in the nation's household income range) was $52,098 in June, but that's down from $54,478 in June 2009, and it is well below what median income was ($55,480) before the recession began at the end of 2007.
Then there's this economic report from The Associated Press just last month:
"Four out five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream."