What a Difference Four Years Makes: By the numbers

From the Weekly Standard:

Barack Obama has said on many occasions that he inherited a very bad economy from George W. Bush. He has blamed the Bush economy for every shortcoming and disappointment of the past four years. If inheritance is a fair standard, let’s ask the obvious question: What will Barack Obama leave to his successor?

President Obama contends that he has put in place the building blocks for a new, sustainable economy. It is unclear who inhabits this mythological new economy and what are the economic principles that govern it. But here in the real world, employment is down, debt is up, poverty is up, commodity prices are up, home ownership is down, fewer Americans are covered by health insurance, and education scores are flat (or down slightly). The picture is poor (see table below) whether you take as the point of comparison June 2008, the equivalent point in the presidential campaign four years ago (before the financial crisis); or the situation facing the voters as they made their choice in November 2008 (with the financial crisis full-blown); or January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama took office.

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