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2012 ElectionEconomyGovernmentOpinionPolitics

Liars May Lie, But Numbers Are Numbers

I received an email earlier today from the local GOP office.  I always peruse through them since they often have great ideas on how to counter misinformation and get conservative ideas out.  This email, however, had a huge chart with numbers.  It was titled “After Over Three Years of Obama… Here’s Your Change!”  The numbers were quite enlightening, AND backed up by credible sources, which I checked and updated myself.  In a nut shell, here’s what it said, and the time frame is January, 2009 when Obama took office, until now:
            Oil/Gas:  The average retail price per gallon of gas in the U.S. was $1.83, and today it’s $3.74.  That means there was more than a 105% increase in the price.  Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration and AAA.  Crude oil has risen even more dramatically.  The West Texas Intermediate crude oil was selling for $38.74/barrel.  It is now at $92.12 – a 136% increase.  Source: Wall Street Journal.  Crude oil is used for everything from gasoline, home heating oil, jet fuel, asphalt, tar, and plastics, among other things.  So if you have to transport it, pack/bag it or fix the roads it’s on, the price is going up.
            Crops:  Corn, soybeans and sugar are three of the biggest crops used world wide for food and other products.  Yellow corn started at $3.56 a bushel and is not at $7.43 a bushel – just under a 110% increase. Soybeans started at $9.66 a bushel and is now at $14.98 – a 55% increase, and raw cane sugar started at $13.37 a pound and is now at $35.39 – a 164.77% increase.  Source:  Wall Street Journal.  Feeding livestock, which we also eat, became much more expensive.  Household food budgets rise at each trip to the grocery store.
            Some interesting facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Unemployment figures.  At January 1, 2009, the overall non-farm unemployment rate was 7.1%, and the average for 2008 was 5.8/%.  That average rose to 9.3% at the end of 2009 and 9.6% at the end of 2010 – all while President Obama had both Houses of Congress as the same party.  In 2011 the average rate was 8.9%, and so far for 2012 the average, through the end of September, is 8.3%.  Keep in mind that these numbers don’t reflect those who have stopped both looking for work and applying for/receiving unemployment benefits.  Those numbers rose 146.2%.  

The numbers were even worse for African Americans, who voted for Obama in huge numbers.  At January 1, 2009, the overall African American unemployment rate was 12.1%, and the average for 2008 was 10.1%.  That average rose to 14.8% at the end of 2009 and 16% at the end of 2010, and 16% in 2011.  So far in 2012, it’s an average of 13.8% through the end of September.
            According to the Census Bureau, median household incomes in January 2009 were $50,112.  They have fallen to $49,777 almost a 1% drop.  For many what this translates into is they either took a pay cut to keep a job, haven’t received a pay increase in the last 4 years, or had one household earner lose a job.  It also means that rising prices are overwhelming family budgets.
For those who have lost income more dramatically and need assistance to feed themselves and their families, the numbers have risen dramatically.  According to the USDA, in 2009 31,983,716 people received food stamp assistance.  The numbers have risen to 46,681,833 as of the end of July, 2012.  This is an increase of over 45%. 
            Most importantly, our National Debt, according to the US Treasury Department has risen astronomically.  In January, 2009 it was $10,699,804,864,612.13 as of today is $16,199,574,839,671.31. A difference of $5,499,769,975,059.18 … in less than 4 years.  By the way, I had to do the subtraction of today versus 2009 on paper.  The number was too big for my calculator to allow me to input it.  How sad is that?
            If these numbers tell us anything it’s that the current road is not working.  A recession that supposedly ended in June of 2009 has done nothing of the sort.  If this was your family that would mean that you were living so far over your head you’d never see the light of day.  Recent graphics about it were panned by some as “too simplistic” to solve the problem, but it remains that out of control spending must stop.  The collective national belt must be tightened, which means cuts to “extras”, just like a family would do. 

 These extras have been touched upon by Romney, such as PBS funding.  The left screams like an out of control child having their toys taken away.  “No, no, no!  Don’t touch MY stuff!!!”  Well, guess what?  Something has to give.  Increased taxing doesn’t hit just one tax bracket as the Dems would have us believe.  The middle class of this country are the ones who are working and earning money, which means they pay.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay anymore. 

Suzanne Olden

Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.

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