Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Obama tells 60 Minutes: “The Country Is Better Off, People Just Don’t Feel It”
President Barack Obama invoked former President Ronald Reagan in an effort to convince the American people they are better off than when he assumed office nearly six years ago. Obama made his comparison to Reagan during an interview with Steve Kroft on CBS News’ 60 Minutes broadcast Sunday night when speaking about the Democrats’ prospects in the upcoming midterm elections.
Reagan famously asked the American people if they were better off after four years of President Jimmy Carter during the candidates’ debate on October 28, 1980.
“Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?”
A week later Reagan crushed Carter, winning 44 states.
Obama said to Kroft, “…Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” In this case, are you better off than you were in six?”
Obama tried to make his case but acknowledged people don’t feel better off. He blamed that on stagnant wages rather than his policies which have mainly aided his wealthy donors, Wall Street, welfare recipients, unions, state, local and federal government workers and those living in the Washington, D.C. area.
So my fellow Americans, are you better off than you were six years ago before Obama became president?
Transcript by CBS News.
“Steve Kroft: You’ve got midterm elections coming up. Are you going to get shellacked?
“President Obama: Well…
“Steve Kroft: Or do you think that, I mean, are you optimistic? What are the issues and what are you going to tell the American people?
“President Obama: Here’s what I’m going to tell the American people. When I came into office, our economy was in crisis. We had unemployment up at 10 percent. It’s now down to 6.1. We’ve had the longest run of uninterrupted private sector job growth in our history. We have seen deficits cut by more than half. Corporate balance sheets are probably the best they’ve been in the last several decades. We are producing more energy than we had before. We are producing more clean energy than we ever had before. I can put my record against any leader around the world in terms of digging ourselves out of a terrible, almost unprecedented financial crisis. Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” In this case, are you better off than you were in six? And the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office, but now we have to make…
“Steve Kroft: Do you think people will feel that?
“President Obama: They don’t feel it. And the reason they don’t feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up. There are solutions to that. If we raise the minimum wage, if we make sure women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work, if we are rebuilding our infrastructure, if we’re doing more to invest in job training so people are able to get the jobs that are out there right now, because manufacturing is coming back to this country. Not just the auto industry that we’ve saved, but you’re starting to see reinvestment here in the United States. Businesses around the world are saying for the first time in a long time, “The place to invest isn’t in China. It’s the United States.”
…“Steve Kroft: You think you can convince people that they’re doing fine, economically?
“President Obama: Hopefully, they get a chance to hear the argument, because all I’m doing is presenting the facts.”