Economic security still non-existent for many Americans

If you don’t think these statistics will have more of a bearing on this November’s election results than President Obama’s stances on gay marriage, free contraception, etc., then you’re fooling yourself. From a USA Today story:

  • “One out of five families owes more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and other unsecured debt than they have in savings … “
  • “[T]he number of families surveyed at the end of 2011 that have no savings at all increased to 23.4 percent, compared with 18.5 percent in 2009.”
  • “Among homeowners, 1.7 percent said that they expect to fall behind on their mortgage payments in the near future … slightly less than in 2009, when 1.9 percent expected to run into mortgage problems.”
  • “Sixty percent of workers say that the value of their savings and investments is less than $25,000 … retirement confidence is at historically low levels.”
  • “[N]early half of families say they have no debt at all from credit cards and other unsecured loans, the same percentage as in 2009 …. Unfortunately, the number of families who are underwater in debt has risen.”
  • “Now, 10 percent of families owe more than $30,000 in unsecured debt, up from 8.5 percent in 2009.”

The stats won’t matter because people pay attention to stats, but rather because they tell a story of a large number of Americans for whom things haven’t gotten more secure in the past three years. For some of them, things have gotten shakier. The story did note one positive trend — the percentage of households with more than $50,000 in liquid savings is up to 14.6 percent from 11.8 percent in 2009 — but that increase is smaller than the decrease in households with no savings.

There’s a reason you hear Mitt Romney harping on the economy, while Democrats try to change the subject. If the families represented above turn out at the polls in November, this is the topic they’re going to be most interested in — and I find it hard to believe they’ll think the current trajectory is the right one for them.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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176 comments Add your comment

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
11:42 am

“There’s a reason you hear Mitt Romney harping on the economy, while Democrats try to change the subject. If the families represented above turn out at the polls in November, this is the topic they’re going to be most interested in — and I find it hard to believe they’ll think the current trajectory is the right one for them.”

Yup. Exactly.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

May 14th, 2012
11:46 am

The election is already over.

All Obama needs is one or two swing states and he has got it.

People aren’t gonna be fooled into going back to the disastrous policies of George W that got us into this mess in the first place.

And that’s exactly what Cheesy Grits will do.

JDW

May 14th, 2012
11:47 am

@Kyle…the point you miss is that the low water mark was 2007-2009 and was a direct result of Duhbya and more or less the EXACT same policies that Romney is pushing now.

Do you really think the families you describe will do better under Romney?

Listen at how these folks describe living the Romney dream…

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/05/obamas-bain-ad-like-watching-an-old-friend-bleed-to-123343.html

I think most of the people you describe are smart enough to know that things are getting better and the reason they are in this mess in the first place is due to Republican mismanagement.

Dances with Cougars

May 14th, 2012
11:47 am

“Security” is what the uneducated, the lazy and the naive expect their government to give them in exchange for surrendering their freedoms.

(see: TSA Airports Molesters, Department of Homeland “Security” (LOL!) , voting for 0bama… TWICE, etc.)

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
11:49 am

“The election is already over. ”

And yet I don’t remember voting . . . .

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

May 14th, 2012
11:49 am

And word is that debt spending is on the rise by consumers once again.

Maybe if public sector jobs weren’t dropping under a Democratic President, and we were actually adding to the size of govt like we do when Republicans are in power (see W, see Reagan) this wouldn’t be the case? Or it might at least help?

jconservative

May 14th, 2012
11:49 am

I agree that the economy is the ticket for Romney.
As Reagan asked “are you better off…….”. The answer for many will be NO.

But the next president, Obama or Romney, will need to address a problem that has remained unsolved by the last 8 presidents.

Net Job Creation by Decade

1960’s…….31%
1970’s…….27%
1980’s…….20%
1990’s…….20%
2000’s………0%
US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Back Seater

May 14th, 2012
11:51 am

Kyle,I think you have hit it in the head, as does Tib.
We need to get past the political thing, and start thinking about what is good for the nation, the current POTUS is not the answer.

Dances with Cougars

May 14th, 2012
11:51 am

Ronald W, Reagan = REAL Republican

George W. Bush = FAKE Republican

Mitt Romney = The “Diet Coke” Version of 0bama (i.e. FAKE Republican)

Barack Hussein 0bama = Jive-Talking Incompetence Personified

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
11:53 am

“the point you miss is that the low water mark was 2007-2009 and was a direct result of Duhbya and more or less the EXACT same policies that Romney is pushing now. ”

The point you’re missing, JDW, is that more people actually know ALL the reasons that caused the recession, and they know there are no specific Bush policies you can name that resulted in it.

Dances with Cougars

May 14th, 2012
11:54 am

Jimmy Carter = 1970s Version of Barack Hussein 0bama

(Minus the Spying on American Citizens Through 21st Century Technology, Thanks to Initiative Started Under FAKE Republican George W. Bush)

Hillbilly D

May 14th, 2012
11:55 am

Still haven’t seen that recovery that I’ve heard so much about, in my neck of the woods.

I view the world differently than most of the folks that post here but I don’t see a rise in consumer debt as being a good thing.

But the next president, Obama or Romney, will need to address a problem that has remained unsolved by the last 8 presidents.

That’s a good point but I don’t see that getting any better, no matter which one is elected.

JDW

May 14th, 2012
11:55 am

@jconservative…”As Reagan asked “are you better off…….”. The answer for many will be NO.”

If the question is are you better off now than in January 2009…by and large that answer is YES.

On the other hand…are you better now than in 2000…NO and IMO it got worse each year from then until 2010.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

May 14th, 2012
11:55 am

Republican mismanagement

Now that’s redundant.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

May 14th, 2012
11:58 am

Give out another tax cut! That’s the only response a GOPer knows.

We’ve seen time and time again how that doesn’t ever work and the Party of Mismanagement will still demand it.

jconservative

May 14th, 2012
12:00 pm

“The election is already over.
All Obama needs is one or two swing states and he has got it.”

This is really a good point. Real Clear Politics has Obama with 161 likely electoral votes and 92 leaning for a total of 253. If Obama takes Florida he is elected and RCP shows a dead heat there. If Obama takes Ohio he is elected and RCP has Obama with a 4.6 lead in there.

But is is 6 months until election day.

DannyX

May 14th, 2012
12:01 pm

“There’s a reason you hear Mitt Romney harping on the economy, while Democrats try to change the subject.”

Change the subject? Watch how fast Republicans try to change the subject when the creator of our economic disaster is mentioned, George W Bush. Watch how fast the subject is changed when Republicans are asked to take any sort of responsibly for the mess we are in. Change the subject? Ask a Republican how they plan to pay for Medicare Part D, the 2 wars they started, The Dept of Homeland Security and the Bush tax cuts. Btw, when is the Iraq war going to be paid off using Iraqi oil revenue? Watch Republicans change the subject when asked just how fast Democrats were supposed to clean up their mess.

Watch how fast Republicans change the subject when Romney’s plan for more massive tax cuts for the rich is brought up.

iggy

May 14th, 2012
12:02 pm

Finn is correct. We need more gubmint hand-outs, give-aways, free lunches, ObamaCare, free tokens for the bus line, free canned goods for the lazy…yep that should turn around the economy!

Dances with Cougars

May 14th, 2012
12:04 pm

Republican or Democrat, the ONLY Presidential Candidate (who didn’t drop out of the race due to scandal) who actually addressed the domestic problems of out-of-control government growth and exponential government spending was Ron Paul.

Unfortunately, Mr. Paul committed political suicide in his Presidential bid with his answers to questions about his foreign policy.

[Selah.]

JDW

May 14th, 2012
12:06 pm

Tiberous…”there are no specific Bush policies you can name that resulted in it.”
au contraire…

1–The complete lack and disregard of almost all regulatory oversight…Bernie Madoff himself could have tried to turn himself in and been sent home from the SEC.

2–A complete loss of all semblance of fiscal responsibility. Bush took a virtually balanced budget and turned it into a $1.3 TRILLION deficit through tax cuts for the rich, unfunded military boondoggles and the demise of PAYGO.

3–A resettling of wealth distribution that has resulted in the complete devastation of the middle class. In short the rich got richer and everyone else got poorer.

There’s more but here is a nice view from December 2007…even then it was obvious the Republican strategy was ruining this country.

Dances with Cougars

May 14th, 2012
12:07 pm

Are there no CONSTITUTIONALISTS left in American politics on the national level who champion (as well as sincerely treasure) individual civil liberties???

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

May 14th, 2012
12:10 pm

Yep, obozo’s got diminished economic security achieved and behind him, now he works on cultural and moral degradation, the weakening of national security and the strengthening of government corruption.

What’s there for a dummycrat not to like?

iggy

May 14th, 2012
12:10 pm

““Sixty percent of workers say that the value of their savings and investments is less than $25,000″

Pitiful statistic. However, and on a more positive note, Finn, while living in his mothers basement has amassed a whopping $92.85 in his piggy bank. Combine that with the value of his 1972 Ford Econoline van and his net worth skyrockets to $192.85.

Nice work!!

1961_Xer

May 14th, 2012
12:14 pm

In 2008, I had $40k equity in my home and $25k in the bank for my emergency fund. Lost job in Jan 2009. Spent the entire $25k before I could find another job (10 months), and my home mortgage is now $40k underwater (lost $65k in value).

I went from a 20 minute drive to/from work to 1.5 hours to/from work (50 miles each way). I cannot move closer to my work because my mortgage is now underwater.

In short, the recession cost me about $90k, and caused me to have a 3 hour daily commute. I have no savings. If I lose my job again, I will lose my house.

ByteMe

May 14th, 2012
12:15 pm

So the government is supposed to force people to borrow less and save more? Really??

Wait… won’t that cause a recession, all that non-spending by consumers, who make up about 70% of all economic activity?

Be careful what you wish for.

ByteMe

May 14th, 2012
12:16 pm

In short, the recession cost me about $90k, and caused me to have a 3 hour daily commute. I have no savings. If I lose my job again, I will lose my house.

You can blame politicians… or you can take ownership of your life and blame yourself for making a series of bad decisions. Which is it? Serious question to ponder.

Don't Tread

May 14th, 2012
12:17 pm

Economic security will continue to be non-existant until we secure the borders, send the illegals packing, and quit sending China billions of dollars every month for products that should be made here. (None of this will actually happen unless some very drastic changes take place, of course.)

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
12:19 pm

“Give out another tax cut! That’s the only response a GOPer knows”

And yet, it is not . . .

Dances with Cougars

May 14th, 2012
12:24 pm

Tax Cuts simply mean our government was already taking (& subsequently wasting) too much of our money in the first place.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
12:26 pm

JDW, you spout DNC talking points, but provide no specifics as required to prove your point:

“1–The complete lack and disregard of almost all regulatory oversight…Bernie Madoff himself could have tried to turn himself in and been sent home from the SEC.”

Really? Please provide specific bills passed or actions taken which prove this point. While you’re at it, maybe you can recall who fought tooth and nail to keep regulatory reform from happening at Fannie and Freddie at the Congressional level despite Bush’s and McCain’s attempts to do so.

“2–A complete loss of all semblance of fiscal responsibility. Bush took a virtually balanced budget and turned it into a $1.3 TRILLION deficit through tax cuts for the rich, unfunded military boondoggles and the demise of PAYGO.”

Half a point there. You DO realize that Democrats in Congress participated in this spending binge as well, don’t you? Nor did they do anything when in charge to change a thing.

“3–A resettling of wealth distribution that has resulted in the complete devastation of the middle class. In short the rich got richer and everyone else got poorer.”

This has little, if an effect on an economy as complex as ours is, but you got the DNC talking point down pat.

Try again.

JDW

May 14th, 2012
12:27 pm

Tiberius…”And yet, it is not . . .”

In all fairness they have two…Give out another tax cut and Cut regulations.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
12:34 pm

“You can blame politicians… or you can take ownership of your life and blame yourself for making a series of bad decisions.”

ByteMe, you’re an A$$. Not only that a bone-headed A$$.

Please tell us all how government interference in the housing markets (which was one reason that caused the recession) is something anyone can take ownership of. Maybe then you can tell us how going from having $40k in equity in a home to being underwater due to these same policies is the homeowner’s fault. Maybe then you can tell us how the poster is supposed to retain a job in a specific company not his own during a recession caused by government policies.

Liberals are only compassionate and tolerant of their own selves and beliefs.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

“In all fairness they have two…Give out another tax cut and Cut regulations.”

And yet, they have more. It just requires reading skills far above the level of most liberals to understand them.

ByteMe

May 14th, 2012
12:41 pm

ByteMe, you’re an A$$. Not only that a bone-headed A$$.

Really? You want to get into name-calling, Ti? How middle-school of you. :roll: I feel for you, not having facts to back up your nonsense.

Class of '98

May 14th, 2012
12:48 pm

Kyle, haven’t you heard? The economy is irrelevant. What is REALLY improtant is that Mitt Romney pushed down a classmate 40 years ago in prep school.

Gosh, get with the program already.

JDW

May 14th, 2012
12:50 pm

@Tiberius…”Please provide specific bills passed or actions taken which prove this point. ”

From the SEC to illegal immigrants the story was the same for Duybha…

-S.E.C. investigations that led to Justice Department prosecutions for securities fraud dropped from 69 in 2000 to just 9 in 2007, a decline of 87%.

-The raw number of convicted criminals who were deported went from 114,415 in 2008 to 195,772 in 2010. That’s 71 percent.

ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/security-fraud-prosecutions-down-87-since-2000/
politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/may/11/barack-obama/obama-says-deportation-criminals-70-percent-under-/

Tiberius wrote..”You DO realize that Democrats in Congress participated in this spending binge as well, don’t you? ”

Which is what makes eliminating PAYGO so stupid. Clinton understood you can’t trust Congress (either bunch) and tied their hands. Duhbya untied them…dumb!

Tiberius…”This has little, if an effect on an economy as complex as ours”

Really…you don’t think all that “investment capital” flowing into the housing markets had any impact on the bubble? All that money from the top end drove the market and then bailed. For example in 2007…

“In Ohio, which has one of the worst foreclosure rates in the nation, 34% of subprime fixed-rate foreclosures involved investor-owned properties and 21% of subprime adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) foreclosures involved non-owner occupied houses. In Nevada, the worst state in the country for foreclosures, investor-owned properties accounted for 36% of subprime fixed-rate foreclosures and 18% of subprime ARM foreclosures. ”

http://www. mortgagebankers.org/files/News/InternalResource/59454_LoanModificationsSurvey.pdf

That has bupkus to do with Fannie and Freddie and everything to do with income inequality finding a home. Simply put it helped run the market up…then exacerbated the downturn.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
12:51 pm

ByteMe, you were given three things to try to back up your assertion that 1961_Xer’s situation was a result of his / her lack of personal responsibility.

Do so now.

I’m not the one to post nonsense. YOU’RE the one making assumptions of someone’s situation in a completely unknown environment.

JDW

May 14th, 2012
12:51 pm

@Tiberius…”And yet, they have more.”

Such as…lets make it something that actually works rather than the catch all “let private enterprise do it”.

ragnar danneskjold

May 14th, 2012
12:52 pm

Economic security is a function of economic growth. The hostility of the American government to economic freedom constrains economic growth. Leftists do not understand economics well enough to see the effects of their programs.

SBinF

May 14th, 2012
12:52 pm

So much hate. I suspect many of you will be so upset, you’ll simply stomp yourselves out of existence when Obama is re-elected, a la Rumpelstiltskin.

1961_Xer

May 14th, 2012
12:53 pm

ByteMe, I don’t blame anybody. I don’t have a crystal ball, and neither did my employer. It is not my fault, and neither was it the government’s. My only point was that you can do everything right, and still fail.
I bought a house that was reasonable for my salary, lived close to my job, and kept 9 months emergency fund. I did what experts and most folks believed I should do. But that strategy is only good for one huge emergency. For example, if I had lost my job in 1998, I would have had another job in three weeks. But I lost my job at the height of the recession, and housing prices plummeted. So I took the only job I could get, and am unable to move due to the collapse of the housing market. No blame on anyone. Shiite happens. But when an ahole calls this ” a series of bad decisions”, I have to say “what bad decision?”. The one where I bought a house? The one where I bought a house close to my job? The one where I put away $25k for an emergency fund? What bad decision?

My point is that economic security is an illusion. All it takes is one chronic illness or one job loss at the wrong time or one turn in an intersection and your life will turn upside down with no safety net. It’s no one’s fault. It’s life.

JF McNamara

May 14th, 2012
1:01 pm

I stopped commenting here because I’m often mystified by the logic and I felt it was more propaganda than anything else. This logic, however, takes the cake.

The stats you quoted are pretty much describes the poor and lower middle class.Your logic is that poor and lower middle class people will vote Republican because they are worse off? Really? Poor people will vote for Mitt Romney, because they believe that he will help them? Really? Mitt couldn’t even connect with poor and middle class people in the REPUBLICAN primary and that is his base. They voted for any non-Romney (no matter how crazy).

The rich and middle class are better off than when Obama came into office. The unemployment rate for those 25 years old and over who have at least a bachelor’s degree is 4%. Those are the people who MIGHT swing, and they are doing fine. Poor people aren’t going to swing the election at all. If they do, its bad news for the Republicans because they certainly aren’t voting Republican because of the economy.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
1:01 pm

JDW, really.

Convicted illegal immigrants not being deported was one of the reasons for our recession?

Come down off the meds, son!

iggy

May 14th, 2012
1:03 pm

“My point is that economic security is an illusion.”

As is Finns logic.

Kyle Wingfield

May 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

JF: You’re assuming “the poor and lower middle class” will turn out to vote. Even if (as you assume) they aren’t going to vote for Romney, why would they necessarily turn out to vote for Obama if their situation hasn’t improved? That is, why wouldn’t a number of them simply not vote? And if, as you suggest, they tend to vote for Democrats, wouldn’t that hurt Obama’s chances?

But the broader point is that “the poor and lower middle class” aren’t the only ones who feel like things are stuck in neutral, or worse.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

May 14th, 2012
1:10 pm

Barack Hussein 0bama = Jive-Talking Incompetence Personified

I like the Jive Talking comment.

But that’s not because he is black or anything.

Nope No way.

Republicans don’t like Obama because of his polices.

His race has nothing to do with it.

Yup uh huh.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

May 14th, 2012
1:12 pm

They voted for any non-Romney (no matter how crazy).

Psst so did Kyle. He voted for Moonbase Gingrich.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

May 14th, 2012
1:15 pm

So much hate. I suspect many of you will be so upset, you’ll simply stomp yourselves out of existence when Obama is re-elected, a la Rumpelstiltskin.

I will be a sad sad day for them. I hope some of their loved ones hide the sharp objects.

saywhat?

May 14th, 2012
1:15 pm

Only the economic security of the rich really matters, being that they are the job creators and all. Just promise to give the rich another tax cut, and promise to cut all those expensive services for the economically insecure and watch that fountain of jobs flow, just like it did…. well, sorta did,….. o.k well didn’t, but was fixin’ to……. after the last few tax cuts. Just one more big tax cut oughta do it, unless it needs a few more after that. As long as you are cutting taxes for the rich and screwing the poor, deficits don’t matter.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

May 14th, 2012
1:16 pm

“Republicans don’t like Obama because of his polices.

His race has nothing to do with it.”

If you like absolutist statements, Cheesy Grits, there’s another blog on this site that is better suited for you.

If you wish to make the case that all or most Republicans don’t like this President because of his color, please do so with facts.

If you wish to make the statement that there are some people out there who don’t like him for his color, I can agree with that.