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Obama's newest numbers: a tale of two countries

The latest numbers on economy, the federal government, spending and poverty show the nation still split in two.

A close look at the latest data on unemployment, the national economy, the stock market and the general state of the nation shows an ongoing pattern of gains for some but the same old stuck in the status quo for millions.

The numbers, as tracked by, a respected project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at Penn, are periodically compiled and cover the time since President Obama took office.

The newest numbers were just released and offer a mix of good news and bad news.

You can read full details here.


The national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is down, for example, and there are twice as many jobs in the economy since Obama took office compared to the eight years of his predecessor's term.

But fewer people own their homes and the number of food stamp recipients is up nearly 49 percent to an historic high -- more than 47.5 million people, 15 percent of the U.S. population.

Also, in the same-old, same-old category, the rich got richer and the rest of us stayed stuck.

FactCheck reports the stock market grew 110 percent. But consumer prices rose nearly 10 percent while weekly earnings grew just 0.1 percent.

Federal debt remains out of control. It grew nearly 90 percent, en route to doubling. And while state and local governments and school districts continue to lay off public workers, the federal government continues to add public workers -- 100,000 jobs, nearly a 5-percent increase -- at a rate faster than U.S. population growth.

The data, therefore, offers talking points for Obama fans (unemployment down, jobs up) and Obama foes (federal debt and federal spending just plain crazy); and suggests options for everyone else include going on food stamps or getting a federal job.