Across the country, ordinary Americans are struggling to get by in an economy that continues to falter. Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report which found that our economy grew by an unacceptable 1.7 percent in the second quarter of this year. Nearly thirteen million Americans are unemployed and looking for work, more than eight million Americans have been forced to take part-time work because they could not find full employment, and, in the last year alone, over two and a half million Americans have given up the job search altogether. According to economists, growth at or below two percent is not enough to lower the unemployment rate. Rather than face these facts and exhibit the leadership necessary to jumpstart our economy, the Administration continues to act like their economic recovery has been a success. In reality, however, the Administration's catastrophic economic policies have led to the weakest economic recovery that our nation has seen post World War II. The President had a chance to lead when our economy most needed it, and he failed.
With the American people set to weigh in this November, the Administration has resorted to simple distortions and untruths. Recently, an Obama campaign official went on a morning cable show and told the public that the Obama recovery has created more jobs than the Reagan recovery following the 1981-82 recession. But, unfortunately for the Administration, the facts just don't add up. In the three years since the recession officially ended in June 2009, 3.4 million jobs have been created. During the first three years of the Reagan recovery 9.1 million jobs were created. In fact, employment under the Regan recovery rose by 13 percent in those first three years, compared to just 3 percent during the Obama recovery.
Just as troubling as tepid economic growth and low job creation, is the fact that median household income has continued to fall. In fact, household income has actually decreased more during the Obama recovery than during the recession itself. In the 18 month recession from December 2007 to June 2009, median household income in the United States fell from $54,916 to $53,508. But, during the three years since the recession ended, median household income has dropped to $50,964. An economic recovery that produces a five percent decrease in household income can hardly be called a recovery. In fact, just about the only thing that has gone up during the so called recovery is the rate of poverty. Official poverty statistics from 2011 have not yet been released; however, statistics from 2010 indicated that more than 46 million Americans were living in poverty, the highest number recorded since the Census Bureau began monitoring poverty more than 50 years ago.
Under this Administration, our economic recovery has been a resounding failure and the reason for this failure is quite simple: a lack of leadership and an unwillingness to put other issues aside and deal with the most pressing issue on the table. Rather than focus his efforts on supporting the free market and growing the economy, the President decided to push for a reckless and unpopular government takeover of health care that the American people did not ask for, while simultaneously increasing the number of federal regulations which made it more difficult for businesses to expand and hire new workers. This abdication of responsibility has lead to uncertainty and slow economic growth and it is dividing our country.
Unlike the Administration, House Republicans have a plan to cut government red tape, lower taxes, and create the kind of environment that allows the free market to work. We have passed 32 jobs bills that are currently stalled in the Senate. These bills would empower small business owners, reduce the tax burden, increase competitiveness, maximize domestic energy production, and pay down our unsustainable debt. This is the kind of leadership that our country needs to get government out of the way and allow the American spirit of innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurship to drive a true economic recovery and put our economy back on track.