Americans Say They’ve Been Better Off Under Obama

By all accounts, the news about the economy — initial jobless claims, consumer confidence, retail sales – has been Not Good. But a new poll of 1,600 adults conducted June 15 – 18 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, for Bloomberg News has found the opposite of the gloom and doom scenarios that have become all too common. 45 percent of those polled said they are better off than they were at the beginning of 2009 when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, as opposed to 36 percent who said they were worse off. Back in March, about half of poll respondents had said they were better off and half worse off.

44 percent described themselves as “treading water” as far as their household income. But 28 percent reported higher household income while 22 percent reported lower income.

27 percent they were taking “postponed trips” as compared to 21 percent in March of 2011.

14 percent said the market value of their houses had increased in the past year; back in December 2009, only 8 percent had reported the same. However, 33 percent said the value of their houses had declined.

Notably, 49 percent say they “prefer Obama’s economic vision to that of his presumptive Republican rival,” Mitt Romney. Some are displeased at Obama’s economic policies, characterizing him as doing a “hatchet job” on the economy. But others favor the president’s policies as providing “long-term solutions” for the economy; 51 percent to 43 percent are in factor of “the administration’s call to invest in infrastructure and alternative energy projects to boost hiring.” The latter figure stands out as, fifteen months ago, a majority of Americans supported congressional Republicans’ calls for the government to focus on deficit-cutting.

Poll’s Findings Contradict Recent Data

The respondents did express “hints of unease,” with a decline in respondents saying they are “hopeful” about improvements in the economy (32 percent, down from 37 percent in March) and more saying they are “fearful” about such (19 percent, up from 17 percent in March). Most (45 percent) think that American children can expect a lower standard of living than their parents have had; a year ago, 55 percent had said they thought this.  28 percent said they “retained their faith in the American Dream,” vs. 23 percent a year ago.

While 19 percent said that job security had improved for those in their household, 22 percent said it had declined. The divide is an improvement from December 2009, when 7 percent said job security had increased and 28 percent said it had worsened.

Overall, the Bloomberg poll offers “more unlikely cheer for the president” and “brightening assessments” that are indeed “at odds with recent data.” Respondents quoted expressed tentative hope:

“I’m hopeful for improvement, but I temper that with pragmatism,” says Catherine Lahey, 28, a sports marketing executive in DeLand, Florida.

“I started working full time and making more money,” says Nathan Blubaugh, 25, a mental health counselor in Media, Pennsylvania. “Things are getting better. They’re not getting better quickly, but they’re getting better.”

What do you think of this Bloomberg poll’s results? Are you feeling more fearful these days, or more hopeful?

Related Care2 Coverage

Fed Moves to Boost Economy

GOP Jumps on Obama’s “Doing Fine”

May Jobs Report Shows Sluggish Growth



Doug Alley
Doug Alley6 years ago

James seems to have a very poor understanding of economics, and an even poorer understanding of recent history. The pile of economic crap that Bush left at the end of his time as president could not be straightened out by God, Jesus, and Houdini combined in a period of four years. Thanks to the Bush stupidity, our great great grandchildren will be still paying off the debt on the mess that he left for us. I would suggest, James, that you go back to school and continue your education before you make any further comments about anything dealing with economics or finance. Learn how to think and quit letting the Republican Party do it for you. They don't seem to grasp the mess they created either or they would keep their mouths shut.

Past Member 6 years ago

Very Interesting?

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown6 years ago

So James it is obvious you are going to every story that mentions President Obama and posting the exact same bullshit right wing talking points. Tell me are they paying you by the post or by the hour to say this garbage?

James C.
James Crowley6 years ago

Obama is simply out to distract us from the real issues and his own record
as President. The real issues we face - a faltering poor economy, very few
jobs, housing prices down 35%, heavy handed regs that keep piling on the
cost of business simply staying in business, the highest corporate taxes in
the world, the growing cost of entitlements and the unwillingness to rein in
record spending - are not being addressed. And when one takes a quick
look at the man's record, it helps to explain why he tries to distract us from
his 3 1/2 yrs in office - the record spending, record debt, record food stamp
outlays, record foreclosures, record bankruptcies, a new record of 40
consecutive months of unemployment above 8%, the nation's first ever
credit rating downgrade, his personal record of 100 plus rounds of golf
and more campaign stops than the last 5 Presidents combined, This is
Obama's record. It doesn't belong to Bush and it certainly isn't Romney's.

Ed B.
Ed B6 years ago

AB A. and Dianna B. say they are not better off under Obama.

So, using the conservatives' logic of applying the specific to the general...this proves that Obama was born in Kenya.

Shawn O' Malley
Shawn O' Malley6 years ago

Barack Obama has been a blessing to the American people. His affordable HealthCare Law will provide medical Insurance to millions of uninsured people. If the "party of NO" GOP did not block his jobs plan millions of us would be back to work. The "two Americas" chant of John Edwards rings gtrue, there's the neo-con right wing rethugliscums and the progressive liberal Democrats. The pseudo-christain fundamentalist right are the equivalent of Al-Kaida, except they carry the bible. Vote for Obama.

Nancy Black
Nancy Black6 years ago

Obama helped the auto companies which gave many workers jobs. He gave money to states to keep teachers, policemen, firemen, and other state workers, and even if Republicans don't believe these professions are necessary, less lay-offs in these areas help our economy. Obama also gave money to states to work on highways which in turn gave jobs. He also supported extending unemployment benefits. Over all, the man has made a big difference to a lot of people. The world is not perfect, but it is better than when he became President.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown6 years ago

AB-You think President Obama cut the extension on unemployment insurance?

Audrey B6 years ago

The title of this article sure doesn't describe me. I think Obama has less accomplishes than any other President with Bush being a close second. I am hoping Romneys knowledge of the Corporate World will help him create jobs.

Neither one of these guys has helped our Economy, Jobs, OPEC, Medicare, Affortable Healthcare (not Obamacare), Immigration, Housing Foreclosures ect.

I hope if Romney is our next President, that he can start creating jobs immediately, and give our economy a good boost. Encourage Companies to return to the USA with jobs. Stop alot of this oursourcing. I have been in the work force since 1968, I got unemployed over a year ago, now unemployment ran out, it was suppose to be 99 weeks, but Obama ended that to 20 weeks, so now I had to put my house up for sale. I am 57 years old, never thought anything like this would happen to me.

What is going on with this Gov't of ours such incompetency ? How could they lead this County to such disaster?

I'm sorry but I am a believer that Obama did not qualify to run for the Presidency. He has a shady background. I think he was sent here with an agenda to destroy America, yes he borrowed an extreme of money, one thing I don't quit believe in doing is, Why are we borrowing all this money, just to give it out in foreign aid, when we are in a CRISIS of our own?? These Countries have to understand we cannot help them right now, let us get our shit together, help our home first, before helping others this Congress

Ira L.
Ellie L6 years ago