Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Americans Are Better Off Today Than 4 Years Ago
Press Release

RELEASE: Americans Are Better Off Today Than 4 Years Ago

By almost any measure, our economy, our companies, and our livelihoods are better today than when conservatives previously implemented their top-down economic policies

Washington, D.C. — As the Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Charlotte, North Carolina, a series of new graphs from the Center for American Progress Action Fund illustrate that by almost any measure, Americans are better off now than we were in the fall of 2008. Over the past four years, aggressive actions taken by the federal government, including the economic stimulus package and the rescue of the auto industry, succeeded in turning our economy around and putting our nation back on the right economic path.

“Much work needs to be done to ensure the current economic recovery gains better traction, but there is no doubt that the economy is on the right track and remarkably robust in the face of tremendous obstacles, among them the lingering European financial crisis, high oil prices, and continued massive household debt levels,” writes CAP Action Senior Fellow Dr. Christian E. Weller, author of the analysis.

Four years ago, the final year of then-President George W. Bush’s second term in office, the consequences of conservative top-down economic policies were wreaking havoc on our country. The financial crisis sparked by rising home mortgage foreclosures in 2006 gained speed in 2007 and morphed into a serious recession in 2008. It is no exaggeration to say that by the fall of 2008 that recession threatened to turn into another full-fledged Great Depression, as:

  • Mortgage foreclosures mounted swiftly
  • Job losses accelerated rapidly
  • Economic growth reversed course
  • Corporate profits fell precipitously
  • Household wealth declined sharply

In short, our economy and financial markets went into a tailspin in the second half of 2008 due to the consequences of conservative economic policies implemented aggressively by the Bush administration.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012. The U.S. economy has added jobs for 29 consecutive months; the economy has been growing since June 2009; corporate profits have risen sharply; foreclosures are finally falling; and household wealth is continuing to expand. Instead of a second Great Depression, the actions of the Obama administration resulted in our economy exiting what became known as the Great Recession of 2007–2009 within six months.

Click here to download the graphs.

To speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Katie Peters at 202.741.6285 or [email protected].