There is not question that we are all being told how much better off we are thanks to President Obama, that countless jobs were saved, that we are all safer, and a laundry list of other great things about how our situation has improved, but is it true? Are we as a nation better off after the first term of President Obama? Obviously the answer you get will vary depending on you ask but lets take a look at the data and see where we stand now compared to four years ago.
According to the US Energy Information Administration gas prices have risen from an average of $1.84 since to an average of $3.85. Everyone complains about gas prices because it puts extra pressure on out wallet, but many forget the other effects that can have across the market as a whole. Since gasoline and diesel are required to transport goods, when costs go up, typically so do prices making almost everything else more expensive as well. We also forget that we use gas and diesel to power farm equipment, some manufacturing equipment, the list goes on. So gasoline prices can have an affect on the price of food and goods across the board.
Unemployment was a massive campaign issue in 2008, so where do we stand now? Well first lets talk about what the unemployment numbers depict. There are many people not included in this rate because they have given up on looking, went from a high paying full time job to a low paying part time job or temp work, or have passed the time limits for unemployment benefits. So those unemployment rates you heard on the news where only including those collecting unemployment benefits and looking for work, everyone else was not included in that rate. While it is difficult to tell exactly where we stand unemployment wise, most data tends to point to an increasing unemployment when counting those who no longer collect benefits and/or have stopped looking for work.
Another key not issue was the Affordable Care Act also know as "Obamacare." We were told that with this act all Americans would be better off and that health care costs would go down. This one is tricky, costs are on the rise but some say the cost increases are slowing due to Obamacare, and without its full implementation until 2014 we do not yet know the full impact this will have. What we do know is that, thus far, it is not lowering the costs of health care as promised.
Looking through these key issues you can see information that can help you decided whether or not we better off. There are many other issues that are on the table as well to include taxes, government spending, gun control, and an ever growing list of debates to consider. Different people will have different opinion based on what issues matter to them, but many of the issues appear to not show much change or are changing for the worse. At the very least it will make for interesting talking points during mid term elections when politicians up for re-election try to explain why people don't have jobs, are paying more for gas and products, and paying higher premiums on health care.