More than three years ago, at a $50,000-per-couple fundraiser (or $15,000 per person if you skipped the photo-op) at the five-star St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan, President Obama was in a feisty and confident mood.
In office less than two years, Obama told the well-heeled gathering of supporters that he had put things back on the road after the Republicans had crashed the economy: “After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No! You can't drive! We don't want to have to go back in the ditch. We just got the car out.”
In fact, the economy for most Americans remained in a ditch that night — and it's still in a ditch, stuck in the slowest recovery since World War II.
American “households still have not come close to regaining the purchasing power they had before the financial crisis began,” explained New York Times reporter Robert Pear, citing household income figures in a new study by two former Census Bureau officials.
Median annual household incomes, adjusted for inflation, declined 4.4 percent from June 2009, when the recession ended, to June 2013, reported Pear. That income drop was on top of the 1.8 percent inflation-adjusted decline in median household income that occurred during the recession, from December 2007 to June 2009.
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Photo of President Obama: AP Images