Barack Obama's approval scores have plunged into the low 40s as a majority of Americans now say they disapprove of the job he's doing as president.
The Gallup Poll's nationwide survey showed this week that between 52 and 53 percent of adult Americans gave Obama failing grades on his performance in office. Only 43 percent approved of the job he's been doing.
His sluggish, sub-par, part-time-job economy was the chief factor, as it has been throughout his presidency. But the sharp rise in deadly terrorist attacks in Europe and reports of plots on the United States contributed to fears that our homeland will be next on the terrorist's target list.
Meantime, Gallup's dismal economic confidence index remained deeply in minus territory, varying little in recent months, according to their polls.
"The economic outlook score last week was minus 19, reflecting 38 percent of Americans saying the economy is 'getting better' and 57 percent saying it is 'getting worse'," Gallup said.
"While the current outlook score is similar to scores seen in recent weeks, the economic outlook score has been significantly lower since July, compared with earlier in the year," the polling firm said.
Meantime, the Commerce Department said Tuesday that a third quarter revision of the nation's gross domestic product, the broadest measurement of the economy, grew at a 2.1 percent annual pace, up from the weaker 1.5 percent rate reported last month.
The national news media ballyhooed the revision, but 2 percent was still a mediocre rate of growth, compared to previous administrations.
Consider the stunning quarterly economic growth rates President Reagan achieved in his third and fourth years in office, as his tax cuts sent the economy soaring out of a severe recession: 5.6%, 7.7%, 8.5%, 7.9%, 6.9% and 5.8%.
Nearing the end of his fourth year, Reagan easily won a second term, carrying 49 states.
Nearing the last year of his presidency, Obama can't claim Reagan's level of popularity, nor the economy's strong rate of growth. Two percent growth is sub par, no matter how you spin it, even with the Federal Reserve's life support system bankrolling his anemic economy.
Large sectors of Obama's economy remain in trouble, and consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the American economy, is tightening.
"U.S. retail sales softened in October, including a decline in automobile purchases, pointing to a slowdown in the coming months.
Apartment construction plunged in October, and home building rates slipped, as both declined in October by 11 percent.
Manufacturing rose in October by a measly 0.4 percent -- the first rise in three months. Exports have been hurt by the strong dollar. The energy industry's spending cuts after the collapse in oil prices have added to lower growth.
The Commerce Department also reported that after tax corporate profits have dropped by a rate of 1.6 percent.
If all of this points to a continuation of the economy that we've experienced and suffered through in the last seven years, that's what we can expect if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency next year.
If struggling businesses and middle-class families have not suffered enough from Obamanomics, it's going to get a lot worse if the Democrats hold on to the White House.
Clinton has already made it clear that her tax agenda will be a carbon copy of Obama's pledge which she signed as a candidate for president in 2008: No additional taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year.
Here's how her campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, put it in a recent statement:
"Hillary Clinton is proposing a bold, ambitious agenda, but in paying for her proposals, she fundamentally rejects the idea that we should be willing to raise taxes on middle-class households. We need to raise these families' incomes, not their taxes."
That's her campaign pitch, but she plans to slap much higher tax rates on the wealthy and on businesses and big corporations -- and that gets passed along in higher costs for everyone else in the lower tax brackets.
It hurts the middle class in other ways, too. Tax wealthy investors more and you get much less investment in new business expansion and entrepreneurial start-ups, and that means fewer new jobs and much less income.
While she has yet to spell out her tax proposals in any detail, she has proposed hundreds of billions in tax hikes on corporate America, big banks, and tightening business deductions.
All told, Clinton's tax plans will total at least $1 trillion, a figure that will likely be much higher in order to pay for the long laundry list of new spending programs she will propose in next year's campaign./p>
Among them: tax credits for lower-and-middle income families; higher Social Security benefits for widows and the needy; reduced college tuition and other aid costs; and government-paid family and medical leave, and child care.
"Clinton's plans, both announced and forthcoming, appear likely to echo the spending levels of Obama's most recent budget plan, which proposed about $2 trillion in additional taxes over 10 years, all concentrated on the wealthy," writes the Washington Post's economics reporter Jim Tankersley.
All of Clinton's spending plans and the taxes to pay for them come right out of Obama's presidential playbook.
A vote for her will be the same as a vote to give Obama a third term -- and four more years of a weak, under-paid, job challenged, and over-taxed economy.
And a mountain of deficits and debt to go with it.