Tonight, when Vice President Biden and President Obama address the country the question before them is an obvious one: are we better off than we were four years ago?
The answer is equally obvious: YES!
Anyone that thinks that America is not better off than it was four years ago has completely forgotten about the global financial crisis that knocked this country into a deep recession and almost into a depression.
Housing prices nosedived, jobs were lost by the hundreds of thousands and the economy was contracting.
Unemployment was rising. The GDP was shrinking. That is no longer the case today.
Four years ago, in September 2008, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. A first bailout of the banks failed in the House and the stock market dropped 800 points in a day.
Obama bailed out the banks and saved the auto industry. Still, within a year, the unemployment rate shot up to over 10 percent.
Four years ago, people were losing their homes, their jobs, and their retirement savings.
Today, too many Americans are still unemployed but their prospect for finding a job is getting better as the economy continues its slow recovery.
The stock market is growing, corporate profits are on the rise and housing values continue to grow as well.
The U.S. economy is headed in the right direction. That was not true four years ago.
The American people also have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect them from abuse by the financial industry. The Treasury Department has put some restraint in the banking industry – but this country cannot afford to put deregulators in charge of the financial industry at a time when banks are getting bigger and another collapse would be devastating.
Mitt Romney wants to repeal the financial industry legislation that passed after the meltdown. And he is backed by those who stand to reap outsized profits as a result, the largest banks and financial institutions – bankers have donated millions to the Romney/Ryan campaign.
Romney's campaign has made out big time from the people that wrecked the economy and had to get bailed out. They are looking to roll back the clock four years ago and restart the party that destroyed the economy.
On foreign policy the answer is clearly yes. Our troops are out of Iraq. Osama bin Laden is dead and so are a number of other top al-Qaida officials.
Americans no longer have to fear going bankrupt because of a health emergency and they know that they can get covered, even if they get sick.
Barack Obama could not have inherited a worse economy from Republicans. Their plan is to go back to the policies of George W. Bush. The policies that wrecked the economy and exploded the debt.
President Obama has done a very good job of making Americans better off than they were four years ago. As Joe Biden said the other day "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive". That is a good start.
We know where Mitt Romney wants to take America. We are still recovering from it. We don't want to go back.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.
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