We can’t afford 4 more years

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lets look at an American family and see how they have made out over the past four years under Obama.

Joe and Sue have two children. They live in a small Midwest town 16 miles from their jobs.

Four years ago Joe was making $16 an hour, with five hours a week overtime. His annual gross pay was $39,500. Sue worked at a store in the mall. Sue was paid $8.50 an hour for a 30-hour week, or $13,260 per year. Their combined gross income was $52,760. They considered themselves middle class. Life was good.

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How are Joe and Sue doing today? Because of fuel costs Joe’s employer has seen a business slowdown. Joe is now working 38 hours a week at the same hourly rate. Joe’s gross income is now $31,600. The store Sue works for has also cut hours. Sue now works 20 hours a week for $8,800 a year. Their combined income has dropped to $40,400. However, they both feel lucky to still have jobs.

While their income has gone down, their expenses have gone up. They have two older vehicles. Joe drives a 12-year-old pickup and Sue’s drives a 10-year-old Buick. Between work, church and school activities they drive 20,000 miles a year. Combined, their average gas mileage is 17 miles per gallon. Four years ago their annual auto fuel costs were $2,170. Today their fuel costs are $4,500. An increase of $2,330.

During that period, their food cost has increased $2,000 a year.

Their electric and heating bills have increased by $1,000.

Because of higher insurance premiums Joe’s employer raised Joe’s co-pay $85 per month, or $1,000 per year. Under George Bush’s tax cut they saved $1,500 per year. Obama is eliminating that tax break.

Lets add up how Joe and Sue have done after four years of Obama.

• Lost income: $12,360

• Higher fuel costs: $2,330

• Higher electric and heating bills: $1,000

• Higher food costs: $2,000

• Higher medical insurance: $1,000

• Lost tax cut: $1,500

• Total disposable income lost: $20,490

That’s a 39 percent drop due to Obama’s energy policies, Obamacare and coming tax increases. Joe and Sue are struggling to keep their heads above water. Their children have had to drop out of sports. Their home that they bought 10 years ago is underwater. Their savings are gone. The financial stress is having a negative effect on their marriage. They are fighting far more often, mostly over a lack of money to pay the bills, which are slowly piling up. They see no way out.

Their American Dream has been shattered.

Our vice president said the middle class has been hammered. He is right. The loss of a middle class dream is the direct result of Obama’s energy and health care policies.

Before you vote, think long and hard about what happened to Joe and Sue and tens of millions of families like them.

Obama is not taking care of the poor. His policies are increasing the number of poor.


Don Sorensen

Albert Lea