This famous question from Ronald Reagan to Jimmy Carter on Oct. 28, 1980, during the two's only presidential debate just one week before election day is one so many remember, and one I'd like to provide an answer for today.
The following is the state of the nation as of Oct. 10, 2012, vs. the state of the nation in 2008: Dow Jones Industrial average is 13,473.53, up 70 percent from 2008. Unemployment is 7.8 percent, same as in January 2009 but down from a peak of over 10 percent. The trade deficit is $42 billion per month, up 11 percent from 2008. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is $15.6 trillion, up 12 percent. Average hourly earnings are $23.58, up 7 percent. New home sales are 373,000 per year, up 11 percent. Total troops in Iraq and Afghanistan combined are 67,200, down 61 percent. The budget deficit is $1.1 trillion, up 151 percent (in the wake of the greatest recession since the depression when government spending has been crucial to preventing another depression). Bloomberg U.S. weekly consumer comfort index is - 36.9 down 30 percent (but more optimistic than in recent years). Energy independence is 83.4 percent, up 10 percent. And a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.53 percent, down 30 percent.
These numbers aren't all good, but in the wake of the great recession, a housing bubble burst and record deficits and debt from policy priorities that preceded our current administration, we're not doing half bad. Economists suggest that 12 million jobs will be created in the next four years whether Romney is elected or not. He can't take credit for that. With Obama's policy recommendations (and he has made them to spite Romney's claims to the contrary) our nation is looking at more growth, less debt and more fairness over the next four years. The choice has never been clearer. So much is on the line. If you value affordable health care, affordable education, a retirement you can live on and economic growth over pointless austerity, vote for Obama and Democrats in 2012!
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Congressional Budget Office, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the Federal Reserve.