There can be no doubt now: The U.S. economy is struggling, inequality is on the rise and too many Americans feel uncertain about their future.
On the campaign trail, I have met many of these men and women, who sit at the kitchen table each week, straining to stretch their dollars from shrinking paychecks. Families who can’t save for retirement with near-zero interest rates. Young parents who are being crushed by their student debt. Shop owners who can’t get a loan because their community bank went out of business.
We’ve had more than six years to watch the left’s prescriptions in action and the verdict is in: They don’t work. Under President Obama, the economy has been hobbled. The 73,000-page tax code is too complex to navigate without an army of accountants. The administration has added $7 trillion in new federal debt, and has doubled down on environmental regulations that crush business owners and farmers while raising energy prices.
And yet Hillary Clinton said on Oct. 13 in the first Democratic presidential debate, “The economy does better when you have a Democrat in the White House,” and she offers variations on that line when campaigning.
Whose economy is she talking about? The middle class has shrunk under the Obama administration. According to government figures and industry analyses, median-income households have lost nearly $1,300 after inflation, while the prices of food, health care and college tuition have risen almost twice as fast as inflation.
Those struggling to find work are increasingly out of luck: Labor-force participation for working-age Americans has fallen to 62.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a level last seen in the Jimmy Carter-era recession. Millions have given up looking for work, and millions have fallen into poverty as a result.