Or maybe the question should be – “Would you trade where we are now to go back to where we were 4 years ago?”



  1. orchidcup says:

    Actually, yes.

    I don’t think it had anything to do with government policies or the lack of government policies or any outside influences.

    I built a new energy-efficient house, bought a new car, and I am developing a new business.

    I know of a few people locally that were laid off from a good job, lost their home to foreclosure, and are essentially starting all over with a part-time or minimum wage job.

    • orchidcup says:

      I was answering the original question, not the amended question.

      I would not wish to go back 4 years, if I could.

      We can’t go back in time, we can only go forward.

      We are all time travelers moving through time at the precise rate of 60 minutes per hour.

  2. NewformatSux says:

    Median family income has dropped by $4000, one month of income, since after the recession ended. That is a bigger drop than happened during the recession.

    • orchidcup says:

      What is your personal experience?

      Would you go back to where you were 4 years ago?

      I think that is the question that is on the table.

  3. McCullough says:

    I’m 4 years older….so no.

  4. Dallas says:

    Financially, about the same as 4 yrs ago. So ans is no.

    However, that’s not the question to ask although it makes for great campaigns speak for the sheeple simple minds.

    • McCullough says:

      Agree, financially about the same, but with inflation definitely no. And I can’t think of anyone who wants to go back to the Bush years.

      I did spend the last 3 years getting completely out of debt, liquidating assets to pay off debt. So in that respect yes.

      • orchidcup says:

        Agreed. I did the same.

        Let’s wait and see what inflation does to our gains.

      • Dallas says:

        Similar here and was able to go debt free a good while ago. I’m now mostly concerned for my family and friends being able to make it through. Although nice to have, but I’m less concerned about how the Republican party is going to make me richer by cutting my taxes.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        A turn to the personal?: I am living off my savings, so I have less of a nest egg to watch slowly decline. but I am four years the wiser and was not sick at all. Same weight. Eye sight starting to fail, slowly. I have accepted the fact I will never make a consistently good cappuccino and my croissants are as butter least as they can be while still being flaky. Sex is great.

        I’m right where I set my self up to be. “I” can’t complain. I fear for the future of my country (meaning the people) though, and thats not a good thing. No appropriate Haka.

  5. CPBrown says:

    Simple snapshots out of time are dopey – Unemployment 01/2009 – a little over 7%, now a little over 8%. Of course, the recession was just starting, but we then went up to 10% & then drifted back down.

    The real questions is did Obama & the Democrats’ policies make things better, worse or about the same as they might have been otherwise. I don’t think that there is much proof for the 1st proposition, and if the latter, who cares who gets elected in Nov ?

  6. PT Barnum says:

    Trick question. (Remember folks, the DNC carnival is in town).

    The only question is about Obama’s performance since he’s been in power. How’s he done?

    Want to hear some real spin? Watch little Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the usual suspects tonight!

  7. Pocono Charlie says:

    “Would you trade where we are now to go back to where we were 4 years ago?”

    In a heartbeat. In the last 4 years my job relocated from NJ to MD, and after living in a hotel room for 3 mths I found a job close to home for a 25% pay cut.

    Would I trade back to before the law that reduced my parent’s Medicare by $700B was signed, and that has my company *considering* dropping health insurance entirely?? You know it!!

    Bin laden is dead, no question about it, and GM is alive — but the latter only after investors *loss* their monies while the Auto Workers Unions suffered no loss.

    Would I go back 4 years? In a heartbeat!

  8. NewformatSux says:

    4 years ago, the Democrats were willing to say that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Now they don’t and are instead forgiving Egypt’s debt to the tune of billions of dollars.

    • orchidcup says:

      We are not discussing Jerusalem or Egypt.

      Let the Israelis and the Egyptians take care of themselves.

      We seem to have enough problems of our own.

      So we give Israel billions in foreign aid and we forgive billions in debt for Egypt.

      Maybe we should consider doing nothing for them and everything for us.

      If you don’t take care of yourself first, you are in no position to help others.

    • Dallas says:

      Not good.

      Just the other day the family was discussing the issue of the Israeli capital and what needs to be done. Then, dessert was served!

  9. Zinc Plated says:

    IMHO, the question should be “Are you better off now and in the future than if the Republicans had been elected 4 years ago”. My answer: probably not.

    • McCullough says:

      I think McCain – Palin would have been as big a disaster as Obama, possibly worse.

      I’m sick of this two party circle jerk.

      • Dallas says:

        Agree. The current two party circle jerk is about undermining each other at our expense.

        The no compromise Teabaggers and their hijacking of the GOP have made it worse.

        For decades, the two party system provided checks and balances to each other but always managed to compromise. Now it’s stalemate.

        In the meantime, corporations are taking over government because they fund the war between the Dems and Pugs. Look for the US to decay to a dying, consumption oriented market.

  10. orchidcup says:

    I am not convinced that Willard Romoney has a cohesive plan for the next 4 years.

    His 59-point plan reads more like a wish list.

    Running a corporation where you are the monolithic dictator is not the same thing as running a country with two extremely polarized political parties, an ineffectual congress, and an intractable Pentagon bureaucracy.

    I would not go back 4 years, but I am apprehensive about the next 4 years, regardless of who is the figurehead leader.

  11. Uncle Dave says:

    Personally, I’m far better off and wouldn’t dream of going back. But that’s irrelevant.

    I think a better question is:

    If previous administrations and Congress hadn’t screwed things up (setting what led up to the mortgage crisis, for example) so that Obama inherited a crap economy, wouldn’t everyone be better off today than four years ago?

    A secondary, related question is:

    Given how previous administrations and Congress (and lets toss in Europe with their financial mess that affects us too) screwed things up, why does the public think an easy quick fix was possible for Obama (or anyone for that matter, even a Republican) to repair the damage?

    A third question:

    Does anyone really think McCain would have done better?

  12. dusanmal says:

    Aaaa, wrong game.

    Proper questions: a) Are you better off than 4 years ago? All scientific measures say NO in average. Less overall jobs, smaller total workforce despite population increase, higher unemployment rate despite shrunken total workforce, smaller average income, smaller average wealth, more people on Government support (ie. less people able to care for themselves)… b) If same policies of last 4 years continue are you likely to prosper more or lose additional jobs, workforce, income and wealth level? Lose. Increased debt and policy of increasing it at the higher pace may have only one scientific consequence: rampant devaluation of currency (lived in indebted country when so happened) resulting in all effects above intensified. c) Most important one: is there historical evidence that some other set of policies would have improved situation vs. this set? Trivial example: Regan inherited from Carter higher unemployment, atrocious economic situation worse than Obama (what would Obama claimed if Bush left 22% inflation rate) AND the world with USSR stronger than ever + Arab oil crisis with worse effects than terrorism + Communist pressure in S.America… Despite definitely worse initial conditions by this time in Regan administration we have had unquestionable economic prosperity and advance, lower unemployment, higher incomes, higher wealth,… AND the international opposition crumbling (vs. Dear Leader Obama who let Iran get 5x more nuclear material over his presidency alone).
    No, I don’t want to go back to 2009 situation but proper leadership would make present situation from that initial condition way better than what Obama did. Country would be more productive, prosperous, winning abroad and at home with a future of further improvement vs. Obama mode of perpetual 8% unemployment at best (consequence of his policies: France lingers at that number for 40 years with policies on average very close to Obama’s).

  13. Jimmy Dickens says:

    Better off? Yup.

    Made money on the turnaround in the market while everyone still sits whimpering.

    My wife’s gig had a freeze on raises for 3 years. Got a back to normal raise a couple months ago.

    Sneaking up on a new car for the family this year.

    Sure as hell not voting for the Party of NO.

    • orchidcup says:

      Made money on the turnaround in the market while everyone still sits whimpering.

      Good show. I managed to do the same, in spite of myself.

      • Marty says:

        So give me a percentage, 10%, more?

        Then adjust for inflation. Did you really make money on the turnaround? Odr did you just maintain?

        I don’t invest in the stock market anymore, after one of my investments was stolen in a corporate takeover. My trust in that system is gone.

        • orchidcup says:

          I bought silver at $11.00 and sold off when it hit the high of $48.00.

          I did not know the high would be $48.00, it was a lucky guess based on intuition.

          • Marty says:

            Did the same….except I haven’t sold it.

            Good for you. Apple stock would have been nice as well, trick is to know when to dump. I think now.

          • orchidcup says:

            I bought a little bit of silver back when it fell below $30.

            It has been a long road back above $30.

            Knowing when to sell off is not a trick, it is a crap shoot.

            Good Luck and Good Karma.

  14. Ken says:

    Financially, spiritually and mentally? Very much so. Politically? Far worse. We all are. But, keep voting for more fascism and militarized police state, folks. Whether it’s a D or an R, it doesn’t matter, they all serve the same masters and it’s certainly not you.

  15. noneofyourbusiness says:

    I wouldn’t want to go back for one reason. In 2008, the Republican party was in complete disarray. So, everyone voted for Barack Obama. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic party are so inept that it actually resurrected the Republican Party.

    BTW: I am NOT a Republican.

  16. NewformatSux says:

    What happens when people are no longer willing to buy the trillion dollars a year in bonds the US is offering?

    • Dallas says:

      Did you ask Bush that when he signed you and I up for a trillion war with Iraq?

      • orchidcup says:

        Good question. Don’t forget Afghanistan and TARP.

      • NewformatSux says:

        A one trillion dollar war over ten years that caused Iran to stop its nuclear program for a while and Libya to disarm, vs a trillion dollar deficit every single year, despite ending the war. Pretty bad spending record when you end the war that was supposedly running up the budget deficit and still end up with trillion dollar deficits, and a budget plan that would increase them even more than that.

  17. orchidcup says:

    Okay.

    The billionaires rule the country. The politicians run the country.

    The 1% cannot be the 1% without the cooperation of the 99%.

    The billionaires contribute to both political parties in a non-transparent fashion, thanks to the Supreme Court, so it is very difficult to know where the 1% is placing their bets on the craps table.

    You can’t play the game if you don’t know what the rules will be. The billionaires know this fact. They are playing with their cards close to their chest, so to speak.

    The recession will ease up when the rules are known and unambiguous.

    The rest of us must swim in the deeper currents where it is easier to evade the predators and survive.

  18. NewformatSux says:

    4 years ago, Obama said he didn’t want to just play the game better, he wanted to change the game. Now Obama puts lobbyists throughout his administration, waiving the new ethics guidelines left and right, hands out ambassadorships, state dinner invites, rides on Air Force One, and government loans to campaign donors, and checks to see if government contractors are donors to his party.

    • orchidcup says:

      How is the Republican Party different?

      • NewformatSux says:

        Obama said he wanted to change the game, not just play the game better. Republican Party in the abstract tries to change the game by reducing government power.

  19. NewformatSux says:

    4 years ago Obama was saying that a 4 trillion dollar debt in 8 years was unpatriotic. Who knew that he meant the debt number was too small?

    • orchidcup says:

      And he was supposed to bail out a sinking ship how?

      So Wall Street and the other cronies of Bush scuttled the ship on the reef, all hands are going down with the ship, a storm is fast approaching, the Republicans are helping their friends to the upper decks while the rest of us are bailing water or treading water, and you think Captain Obama is at fault because the ship can’t float, won’t float, or may never float again?

      Tell me a fairy tale I can believe.

  20. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    “The recession will ease up when the rules are known and unambiguous.” //// Ha, ha. In what universe?

    Tell a lie often enough………

    • orchidcup says:

      We don’t know the rules. Those guys know the rules.

      We swim with the current and hope we survive.

      Billionaires are not burdened by ideology. Through hard work, perseverance, business acumen and daddy’s money, they have risen above ideology and ethics with the aid of corporate personhood and their establishment friends.

  21. 4 Years ago I was broke. Now I’m not. But then again, I also wasn’t living in New Jersey then. So I guess I have mixed feelings.

  22. deowll says:

    What would be the point in going back in time four years to repeat exactly the same experience? I thought McCain was marginally better than Obama but that wasn’t even the question.

    The sane question is do you want to stick with Obama, based on your evaluation of what he’s done during the last four years and can reasonably expect him to do in the next four years, or go with somebody that has balanced a state budget and has successfully operated a business and salvaged an Olympic that looked to be in the process of doing a total melt down and has pledged to devote his time and energy to balancing the budget and growing jobs.

    Obama doesn’t even talk to his jobs people. For all I know they may be incompetent but if he thanks that’s the problem why hasn’t he tried to fix it? It isn’t like somebody else can do that for him while he’s President.

    I’m also bothered by the simple observation that nobody has voted for an Obama budget in the last two years and Reid has blocked any sort of budget from being passed. This suggest to me that the people in charge are utterly clueless incompetents who are completely beyond their depth and don’t have even the remotest clue about how to set things right.

    If you can negate these points or have off setting points feel free to share.

    • Sam says:

      I would like you to consider the following facts. Based on the Constitution of the United States the only branch of the government that can levy taxes to create government income and then spend that money is the Congress of the United States. The Republican House of Representatives has systematically blocked any legislation that would have enhanced the economy and in their own words they will do nothing to help the American economy as long president Obama or any Democratic president is in that office. You can claim Pres. Obama has done nothing but in the end it is the Republicans that have trashed the economy, your economy.

      As for Mr. Romney’s credentials with respect to business and the Salt Lake City Olympics consider the following. Obama care or as we call it Romney care in Massachusetts has given every citizen in Massachusetts health care coverage with no exclusion for pre-existing conditions. The cost of healthcare in total has not gone up and the quality of care has been unchanged or better. As for the Salt Lake City Olympics Mr. Romney’s solution to the bankruptcy of the Olympics, a private endeavor, was to go to the Congress of the United States to extort money. He told Congress that there was no private money available and that if the Congress didn’t give money for the Olympics it would make the United States a laughingstock of the world. Congress then gave Romney $342 million in direct federal funding and an additional 1.1 billion in indirect financing from Washington. The only way, Mr. Romney salvaged the Olympics was by using your money.

      As for Obama if you’d like to look at the list of his successes since he entered office many of them financially based you can read them on this page

      http://pleasecutthecrap.typepad.com/main/what-has-obama-done-since-january-20-2009.html

      • Derek says:

        You do realize that writing down your new years resolutions do not count as successes. Every budget balancing group he has thrown together, he has largely ignored.

  23. Tom says:

    Four years ago I was in a great Engineering Job in a Manufacturing Facility I had for 13 years. Since then I got “let-go” and now have a contract software engineering job with no benefits and make $30K less a year. So economically and career wise no I’m not better off.

    I don’t think it would have mattered much who was in office. But in my opinion Barry isn’t making things better.

  24. Pocono Charlie says:

    If we were to go back to 4 years ago, then Candidate Obama was calling the then $5T debt run up by Pres Bush as unpatriotic.

    And while I wouldn’t use that term, I agree the debt was heinously wrong. Bush never vetoed a spending bill, passed by the Congress (mostly GOP controlled, until Jan 2007). The economy was running hot, but the fundamental debt was simply wrong. To that extent, Obama was spot on.

    So now, 4 years later, and the debt is up around $16T. No tax increase in the world can stem that amount. Both houses of Congress were controlled by the Democrats from 2007-2010: the House is derided as ‘do-nothing’, but they’ve passed budget after budget with spending cuts that never see the light of the day in Senate.

    The GOP has learned. The Dems apparently have not.

    So again, would I go back to 4 years ago?

    In a heartbeat.

    • Sam says:

      The national debt stands at $15-plus trillion. When Bush left office it was said to be $10 trillion, but then George W. Bush kept the cost of the two wars off the books. That cost is approaching $4 trillion and still growing after 10 years. Add to that the bank bailout ($800 billion), and Medicare Part D ($400 to $700 billion over 10 years) and you have close to $15 trillion.

      The difference is Obama put the cost of the wars on the books, where they should have been all along. Realistically, Obama has only added $1 trillion to the debt.

      And you want Bush again?

      • NewformatSux says:

        Obama’s proposed budget increases debt by even more than it is already scheduled to increase. Instead of 3 trillion more in ten years, it would be 6 trillion. And that’s after the assumptions of big economic improvement that pushes the numbers back down to Bush Era levels of debt.

  25. Rob Saunders says:

    Of course I would trade. Four years ago I had a job!

    • msbpodcast says:

      I’d already watched my entire client market implode and the banks we not hiring consultants so I’d already started the free fall into permanent unemployment.

  26. jollycynic says:

    Well, this is one of those funny questions that I’m not sure how to answer. If someone just randomly asked me if I was better off, the answer would be yes. I’m now a college graduate, and because I have a real degree of worth I am also actually making money.
    In the rather more obvious context of better off than 4 years ago as a result of government action and so forth, I’d say there is no causative link between my betterness and the actions of politicians.

  27. BlueDogInRedState says:

    Four years ago, our 401k accounts, held with a reputable (still) mutual fund, was in the process of loosing half their value. Both were supposed to be invested in high quality and conservative instruments. But Moody’s and Standard & Poor misled everybody. We all know how the series of catastrophes on Wall Street nearly collapsed the world-wide economy.

    Four years ago, President Bush did something unprecedented in US politics. He asked both major party candidates to suspend their campaigns to come to the White House to be briefed on the impending financial disaster.

    President Obama was elected in the midst of the unfolding series of crises two months later. The next day, every Republican that could get in front of a TV camera or radio microphone expressed nearly the same message, that they hoped our new president would fail, and every Republican in Congress was going to do everything they could to make sure the newly elected president would not serve more than one term.

    Never before in America has there been so much partisan posturing before a president was sworn in. America was facing a crisis, possibly of unprecedented proportions, and all Republicans did was offer the president a slap in the face.

    Our 401k accounts have recovered nicely. The fear of impending economic doom is nonexistent. Employment numbers could be better, but if Republican legislatures would stop shedding teachers, firefighters and police, we would be in a lot better shape.

    Obama should be re-elected for his second term. Romney has offered nothing in terms of any plan for anything, and still refuses to comply with the tradition of releasing tax information started by his own father almost almost 45 years ago. His nomination acceptance speech didn’t even acknowledge we are in wartime.

    If Republicans wanted to actually win this election, they should have provided a better candidate, somebody better than Mercurial Mitt.

    • Mextli: ABO says:

      Why do democrats only think of teachers, firefighters and police? Aren’t there any other jobs in the universe?

      It’s as bad a politicians moaning about “the children” whenever they want to squeeze more money out of you.

      • BlueDogInRedState says:

        References to lost jobs amongst teachers, firemen, etc are being made because those are jobs that affect the public the most that are getting cut at the state and local level. Stating what has been happening has nothing to do with whether or not I’m Democratic. It’s simply a matter fact.

        Why is concern for our children wrong? Children are our future. They need to be taken care of by adults, including getting a good education. Overcrowded classrooms means less attention for each student. Would you deny a hungry child a crust of bread? Then why deny a curious child the chance to ask a question that allows them to master a basic skill?

    • NewformatSux says:

      Re Romney has offered nothing, even doing nothing would save 3 trillion dollars in debt versus Obama’s budget. Just staying on the current unsustainable path would produce 3 trillion less in debt than Obama’s proposed budget.

    • bobbo, one true Liberal accusing Obama being too far Right says:

      Nice breath of fresh air. Good firm recounting that 48% of the good voters totally ignore.

      Are we “at war?” No congressional declaration. No tax to support it. No Draft. More people killed by private gun ownership or by cars. Not really a war. Just killing in uniform.