Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 30, 2014

Obama: We Restored ‘Trillions of Dollars of Wealth’

parks012 022713 246x335 Obama: We Restored Trillions of Dollars of Wealth

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama has a new line he’s been trotting out as he talks to Democratic party donors — a claim that “trillions of dollars of wealth” have been restored on his watch.

Turns out, the line is true.

Household wealth has soared by trillions since Obama’s inauguration. And it’s now at an all-time high.

In 2008 alone, the total net worth of households and nonprofit organizations plummeted by more than $10 trillion to $57.2 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data. Since then wealth has soared more than $23 trillion to $80.7 trillion at the end of 2013. (See page 108, Line 42).

That’s $13 trillion above the pre-Obama yearly all-time high of $67.7 trillion at the end of 2007. Net worth now amounts to about $250,000 per U.S. resident.

Nearly $10 trillion of that improvement in net worth came just in 2013.

What Obama doesn’t mention is that federal debt has also soared since he took office. The national debt is now close to $17.5 trillion — up nearly $7 trillion — or $22,000 per U.S. resident — since he took office.

Instead, he notes the deficit has dropped, and seems miffed the decline hasn’t gotten more attention.

“The deficit — you wouldn’t know it always from reading the newspapers — has been cut by more than half,” Obama said last week at a fundraiser in Chicago.

The CBO projects a deficit of $492 billion for fiscal year 2014, which ends Sept. 30. That’s down from $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009. But the CBO projects that the deficit will start rising again in a couple of years as health care costs continue to rise, the Baby Boom generation continues to retire and interest rates go back up.

The picture of national wealth also isn’t quite so simple as the total numbers. Median wealth — the wealth of someone at the 50th percentile, hasn’t kept up.

Credit Suisse last year estimated median wealth of a U.S. adult at just $45,000 (See page 46.), versus a $301,000 average net worth per adult.

Three years earlier, median U.S. wealth was higher — closer to $48,000 per adult — per Credit Suisse. The average net worth per adult in their 2010 report was $236,000. (See page 28.)

The bottom line from those figures? The rich are getting much richer under Obama. And the middle keeps getting squeezed.

Obama tells a similar story to his donors about the anxieties of the middle class even as he touts soaring wealth.

“We’ve got trends that have continued over the course of decades in which those of us, frankly, in this room continue to do better and better,” he said in Chicago. “Folks at the top have seen their incomes and their wealth soar. And ordinary Americans have seen their wages and incomes flat-line at the same time as the costs of everything has gone up. And so they’re less confident that not only they will be able to retire with some dignity and maintain their standard of living; more importantly, they’re concerned that their kids are not going to be able to match their standard of living and the upward trajectory of their lives — the idea that if you work hard, if you take responsibility in this country, you can get ahead.”

  • MerlinMedic

    Under Obama the rich keep getting richer, and the rest of us … oh well. So how does that square with dogma that the Republicans are the party of the rich?

    • David Gaskill

      Obama-hating = GOP special sauce.

  • Pragmatic Conservative

    So, apparently the “poor, downtrodden” Obama has been helping for the last 5 1/2 years are simply his wealthy contributors. In the meantime, we stick our children with an ever escalating debt. Boy, is that something to be proud of.

    Just another part the liberal dream of creating small a left-wing aristocracy to take care of the rest of us who are increasingly being denied the opportunity to succeed (thanks to the very government over-regulation and crony capitalism the liberals favor). That takes them one-step closer to their true goal of a wealthy, liberal elite who will “take care” of everyone by making all people (except themselves) dependent on government handouts to survive.

    • David Gaskill

      Our government provides me with internet, electricity, water, roads, schools, money, and protection. What have you done for me lately?

      • Pragmatic Conservative

        Unless you are the nation’s biggest leach (which I realize may be a possibility given your political leanings), the government doesn’t provide all those things for you. Private companies provide many of those things, albeit under government regulation. That doesn’t mean the government is providing them for you, however. As for me, its not my legal or moral duty to provide you with anything, nor is it anyone else’s.

        • David Gaskill

          um, the government provides those things. My mom’s a 3rd grade teacher. Btw, if you have children, or a wife (tax breaks,) or a car, or an education, you’re a leach too.

          • Pragmatic Conservative

            The government does not provide me with money, I work for a living. The government also does not provide me with internet, water or electricity – I pay for those. But if you are going to claim that any time the government isn’t taking MY money from me, that that is the same as the government giving me someone else’s money, then I can’t help you. You just don’t understand reality enough for anyone to explain it to you.

          • David Gaskill

            So let me get this straight, you print your own currency, build your own broadband, dams, aqueducts, water treatment plants and power plants. You are a nation unto yourself PC. American libertarianism is a farse.

          • Pragmatic Conservative

            Far from being a libertarian, I’m a pragmatist who recognizes there is a role for government in maintaining social order, but that it should not be involved in every aspect of our lives. There is a huge gap between the progressive mantra of “everything we have is because government gives it to us,” and the libertarian anarchist view that government shouldn’t exist and it should be every man/woman for themselves. This nation thrived when entrepreneurship was allowed to operate freely, and government regulation was minimal. While there is a need for regulation, the progressive believe that nothing is capable of working unless it is heavily regulated by the government is a farce. The government’s role is not to take care of us from cradle to grave and ensure that we live blissful lives free from responsibility or the consequences of our actions. Anyone who wants a government like that must also be willing to give up all their freedoms, and most Americans are not willing to do that.

          • David Gaskill

            Two points against the premise that “This nation thrived when entrepeneurship was allowed to operate freely.” First, do you know about Lochner v. New York and what happened when the Court tried to make freedom to contract part of substantive due process. It was bad, and reinforced the idea that if you’re starving, you shouldn’t expect to work for more than table scraps. Second, in the past decade, lack of regulation has led to a housing crisis, a financial meltdown, unconstitutional student lending rules, and an unemployment rate that pretty much forces the unemployed to become self-employed if they want to support a family, much less own their own house. For better or for worse, greed drives this economy, and when it’s concentrated at the top without regulation we get a plutonomy of foxes ‘guarding’ our institutional henhouses, including the Constitution. Only our elected leaders have the power to stand up to the plutocrats.

          • Pragmatic Conservative

            Except that under the article above, it’s clear that the Obama Administration is helping the plutocrats and not the average person. Obama’s economic doctrine is one of crony capitalism in which the government interferes with entrepreneurship and market forces in order to give favor to those industries/entities which have been politically supportive of his Administration. So, obviously, our current elected leaders aren’t standing up the the plutocrats at all (although liberals don’t seem to mind that when the plutocrats in question are “progressive).
            Second, your assumption that lack of regulation caused all the aforementioned problems is false. The housing crisis, for example, was the result of many factors, not the least of which was regulation which required lenders to provide loans to otherwise unqualified borrowers. And lack of regulation is certainly not the cause of the sustained high level of unemployment. To the contrary, it’s the constant threat posed by an Administration focused on regulating everything that is causing businesses to not hire. They can’t bring on new employers if they believe they are soon to be hit with regulations that will make the cost of doing business prohibitive.
            I accept the premise that government is necessary, and that a degree of regulation is appropriate to prevent abuses, but there is no evidence that regulating every element of our lives produces, overall, better results for the people. There are no good examples of nation’s thriving economically under massive government regulation, and a strong economy is what is necessary for everyone’s financial benefit.

          • David Gaskill

            There HAVE been abuses… the repeal of Glass-Stegal is a perfect example. That was lobbied for by the financial elite, that are accustomed to playing both sides against the middle. But in terms of cronyism, I still think Bush had Obama beat. What the hell is the DHS? Wasn’t Cheney the CEO of Enron… what about no-bid contracts and privatization of government infrastructure? That’s self-dealing.

          • Pragmatic Conservative

            What about the Obama Administration ignoring bankruptcy laws to give auto workers’ unions special handouts? What about the Obama Administration demanding that all government contractors reveal their political contribution history when bidding for contracts? What about the special subsidies for industries favored by this Administration? You belief that expansive, liberal government is somehow “pure” fails the laugh test. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more the people give up their power to an all encompassing federal government, the less freedom they will have. And this nation was founded to protect individual freedoms, not to create a nanny state to ensure that no one ever has any difficulties in their lives.

          • David Gaskill

            The auto bailout kept millions of American jobs in our auto industry’s supply chain from dissapearing… crony capitalism does the opposite, it takes away jobs and enriches the rich (e.g. Romney.) As far as transparency in government contracts, that is the opposite of self-dealing; transparency gives ammo to people who challenge corruption. What about special subsidies for industries favored by the Bush administration? I mean, for every billion dollars that Solyndra burned, Haliburton and Blackwater burned 100 billion. Transparency forces equitable distribution of power in a democracy… why don’t we try to find some common ground instead of of failing each others’ laugh tests. I’m happy Cantor lost his primary, are you?

          • Pragmatic Conservative

            First of all, the auto bailout did not save millions of jobs, it enriched the unions at the expense of the auto industry’s bond holders. An organized bankruptcy (as Romney recommended), in accordance with the laws of the United States (which Obama’s bailout ignored), would have accomplished at least as much as the bailout without playing favorites to the unions. Second, the Obama Administration’s attempt to force contractors to reveal political information was nothing more than an attempt to bring politics into the contracting process to ensure that only Obama supporters got future government contracts. You can’t honestly believe that the White House would have used that information to ensure that Democrat donors didn’t get special favors, can you? You certainly wouldn’t believe that if a Republican president suggested the same thing.

            So according to your theory on corporate subsidies, Obama’s throwing away of billions of dollars is okay, as long as Bush threw away more? That’s certainly not a belief that will solve any of this nation’s problems.

            As for something we can agree on, try this on for size: The power of the presidency needs to be vastly curtailed, as both W and Obama made it clear that they would act on any number of issues without Congressional authorization. That is a path toward dictatorship, especially because both parties have abdicated their responsibilities to their constituents by making it clear that they will never question a President of their party.

            As for Cantor losing, that’s a political tragedy. While I didn’t agree with him all the time, I prefer a politician who actually has a plan for accomplishing something over one who believes “bomb throwing” and grandstanding (the two main attributes of Tea Partiers) is the equivalent of governing. I bet we both agree that Ted Cruz is bad for the country, but I doubt you would agree that Pelosi is equally bad. The extremists are leading us down a path toward mutually assured destruction because both the radical right and radical left think it will benefit them in the long run. I’m willing to call them both out on this, are you?

    • David Gaskill

      Check out the spread of campaign distributions in the 2012 presidentials: Obama, lots of small contributors; Romney, a few big ones. Conclusion: Fear the conservative elite.

      • Pragmatic Conservative

        I know you liberals hate to let facts get in the way of an argument, but Obama took in $490M in contributions from large donors. Romney took in only $366M. It’s the liberal elites who are working harder than ever to buy the country they want.

        • David Gaskill

          cite?

          • Pragmatic Conservative

            Opensecrets.org, run by the Center for Responsive Politics.

  • Layla

    Really, Mr. President? Where’s the money going? I’d be willing to bet into the same pockets.

    • David Gaskill

      McCutheon et al.

  • tednovak
    • David Gaskill

      pro-ject

  • Native New Yorker

    REally? To whom? 49% of Americans are on welfare! Unemployment is the highest since the great depression. Obama needs to get the facts straight. America is dying under his tyranny.

    • David Gaskill

      I think you’re wrong here, Bush was tyrannical; Obama’s the compromiser-in-chief. Isn’t that the problem?

  • pitch1934

    We thought we were electing someone with big balls. He allowed Geithner and the rest of the wall street crown to chop them off, if they weren’t off already. He has disappointed since day one. Then, we were forced to reelect him to protect ourselves from the mittster.

    • David Gaskill

      Wasn’t it a conservative majority that okay’d the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions? If you, like me, don’t like the money owning the politics, what do you (should we) plan to do about it? We should vote.

  • Jazzy

    Pass some of that Dem money on down the line, renew ui. Obama, you schmuck,

    • David Gaskill

      schmuck

  • Hima Layan

    It is because of lies like this that marxist ideologue Hussein Obama has no credibility: http://youtu.be/DXqKp5B0ZLE?t=1s

    • David Gaskill

      a sound-byte doesn’t make a montage, get over it troll.

      • Hima Layan

        The video shows him lying 36 times.

        • David Gaskill

          There are four or five clips of him saying that the ACA would allow insured to keep their doctor/plan… but 36 lies? How so? That seems hyperbolic.

  • denner OP4444

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  • Thomas Aquinas

    Is today’s liberalism really any different than its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors?

    • David Gaskill

      Yes, it is.

  • left wing

    the liar in chief with another load of LIES

    • David Gaskill

      liar

  • YONATAN C

    SENATOR JOHN BOEHNER IS A SAD EXCUSE FOR A POLITICIAN AND A HUMAN BEING IF EVER THERE WAS. HE HAS SINGLE HANDEDLY DESTROYED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WITHOUT UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSON BENEFITS SINCE LATE LAST DECEMBER. HE HAS USED HIS POWER IN OFFICE TO DELAY AND POSTPONE THE EXTENSION VOTE IN THE SENATE UNTIL IT BECAME TOO LATE TO PASS IT IN TIME. THIS WAS AN INTENTIONAL MOVE ON HIS PART AND OF THOSE REPUBLICANS THAT FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE. SINCE LAST DECEMBER, MILLIONS HAVE FACED EVICTIONS, HOME FORECLOSURES, BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, WITH EVERY PASSING MONTH THAT WENT BY WITHOUT THE BILL. EVEN THOUGH A FOREIGN AID BILL WAS PASSED DURING THIS TIME, FOR THE UKRAINE, WORTH BILLIONS OF TAX PAYER’S DOLLARS, NO HELP WAS GIVEN TO THESE UNFORTUNATE AMERICANS WITHOUT BENEFITS. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE CLEARLY SHOWN FOR WHOM THEY WORK FOR, AND FOR WHOM THEY SERVE… AND IT’S NOT YOU OR ME. THE REPUBLICANS WORK FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS AND CORPORATE AMERICA ONLY. MANY FAMILIES ARE STILL STRUGGLING AND FAILING FINANCIALLY DUE TO THE EXTENSION BILL NOT BEING PASSED. THIS IS TRULY A CRIME AGAINST THE POOR AND UNEMPLOYED IN OUR COUNTRY, AND I HOPE THAT EVERYONE AFFECTED WILL VOTE THEM ALL OUT OF OFFICE IN THE COMING ELECTIONS..

  • YONATAN C

    BUT MEANWHILE THEY HAVEN’T RESTORED THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL TO HELP POOR STRUGGLING FAMILIES.

    BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE FAILED THE POOR AND UNEMPLOYED MISERABLY. THEY HAVE INTENTIONALLY DELAYED AND POSTPONED THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION VOTE IN THE SENATE, UNTIL IT’S BECOME TOO LATE TO PASS. WHILE MILLIONS OF FAMILIES CONTINUE FACING EVICTION, HOME FORECLOSURES, BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, THE TWO PARTIES HAVE WALKED AWAY FROM THE CRISIS. THEIR LACK OF COMPASSION AND COMMON DECENCY IS APPALLING. HOW CAN 2.6 MILLION UNEMPLOYED, AND FINANCIALLY RUINED PEOPLE, BE LEFT HUNG OUT TO DRY IN THE WIND WITHOUT SUPPORT? WE EVEN RECENTLY HELPED THE UKRAINE WITH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN AID. WHAT ABOUT THESE FAMILIES HERE?

  • trustandobeyalways

    yes, to about 500 bankers and traders

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