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Patch's Poll: Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

As we head into the meat of the election season, that's the question everyone is asking. How do you feel?

With the national conventions in the rearview mirror and the election season fullly under way, both parties are asking Ronald Reagan's famed 1980 question of voters: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

In 2008, the economy was in a freefall just prior to the presidential election. While the country has technically emerged from recession, only 96,000 jobs were added in August and the national unemployment rate is still above 8 percent, according to cnn.com.

Connecticut's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in July, the latest statistics available. That was above the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent that month.

That's the big picture, but how have things changed for you on a personal level?

Take our poll and elaborate in the comments.

Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Charlene, I'm wide awake, thanks. Not sure where you're getting your 'facts' from, though. President Obama is Christian. Also: "In The Federalist Papers, there is no mention of biblical sources for any of the Constitution’s principles, either — one would think they could squeeze them in among the 85 essays if they were, indeed, the sources; especially since the audience was common men who were familiar with, and had respect for, the Bible. The word “God” is used twice — and one of those is a reference to the pagan gods of ancient Greece. “Almighty” is used twice and “providence” three times — but neither is ever used in connection with any constitutional principle or influence. The Bible is not mentioned." ~ Dr. Gregg Frazer, Christian Historian. (This country was founded by "Diests". Not Christians, per se.) Just an FYI. There is indeed a lot of spin. Please provide source information for the supposed 'facts' you are sharing above. I will respectfully suggest you research the actual Affordable Health Care Act. Here's a start, if you'd like to check your own facts some: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/twenty-six-lies-about-hr-3200/ You may find several of your points clarified here as well. I can't even make sense of some of your points, though. Feel free to site your sources, to help prove your point(s). I'm happy to read more.
Charlene September 12, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Drea and company, My fault for saying full term abortion, it is correctly called late term abortion that is supported by the dems. and yes babies have been alive, you can verify this with your medical community. Mr Obama voted yes for late term abortion and is on the dem. platform who want no restrictions put on this female right, so indeed murder is ok. I will give you some of the Obamacare page numbers for the clauses I cited but please do your own research instead of relying on what the party/media wants you to know. Obamacare Page 50 section 152 Illegals covered Page 58, 59 Access to an individual's bank account and authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts Page 65, section 164 Government will subsidize all union members, union retires, and community organizations. Page 241 Doctors paid the same regardless of speciality, govt. set doctor's fees. Page 272, section 1145 Cancer hospital will ration care according to a patients age.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Okay, Charlene. Here ya go. I'll break it down like this. One piece at a time. Your first claim: ("Illegals covered"): " Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services. Pants on Fire! Section 152 includes a generic nondiscrimination clause, which says insurers may not discriminate with regard to "personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services." It says nothing about "non-US citizens" or immigrants, legal or otherwise. In fact, the legislation specifically states that undocumented aliens will not be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance, in Section 246 on page 143. " Source: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/jul/30/e-mail-analysis-health-bill-needs-check-/
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Your second claim: ("Page 58, 59") "Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard. Barely True: Section 163 sets out goals for electronic health records. It says one goal should be real-time confirmation of which services a person qualifies for and how much they will have to pay. That could be achieved by machine-readable beneficiary cards, according to the legislative language. But the legislation does not require the cards. • Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer. Barely True: Section 163 sets out goals for electronic health records. One of the goals is to include features that "enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation" between payment and billing. The legislative summary says the intent in the section is "to adopt standards for typical transactions" between insurance companies and health care providers. The legislation generically describes typical electronic banking transactions and does not outline any special access privileges. " Source: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/jul/30/e-mail-analysis-health-bill-needs-check-/ (same as above) You can also check here: http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/how-much-is-the-obamacare-tax/ These sites I'm listing are considered non-partisan / reliable sources. Feel free to site your own. I'm still going...
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Your third claim: ("page 65 section 164... that the government will subsidize union members...") " Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN) . Pants on Fire! Section 164 creates a temporary reinsurance program to help employers or employee associations pay for coverage for workers ages 55 to 64. It does not mention labor unions or community organizer groups, though presumably they could qualify for subsidies like any other employee association that previously offered health insurance. The section's point, however, is to offer subsidies to employer-based insurance programs, not unions or community organizers. " Source: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/jul/30/e-mail-analysis-health-bill-needs-check-/ <<< same site as above. Trusted fact check non-partisan site.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Your fourth claim: ("Page 241 Doctors paid the same regardless of speciality, govt. set doctor's fees.") "Claim: Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!) Both False. Both of these claims pertain to Section 1121, which updates the physician fee schedule for 2010 for Medicare. It doesn’t "reduce physician services for Medicaid" (which wouldn’t pertain to seniors anyway); instead it modifies a section of the Social Security Act that defines physicians’ services. The section also doesn’t say that doctors will be paid the same “no matter what specialty you have.” Instead it sets up two categories of physician services with different growth rates for fees under those categories. As the Kaiser Family Foundation says of this section of the bill: "Allows the revised formula to be updated by the gross domestic product (GDP) plus 2% for evaluation and management services and GDP plus 1% for all other services." The measure will cost $228.5 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation." http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/twenty-six-lies-about-hr-3200/
Charlene September 12, 2012 at 09:17 PM
You are citing interpretations of the wording read the actual 2000 plus pages of the bill which is available. Does the numerous potential ways of reading the meaning tell you anything. I love my country and am very very concerned about the misinformation being spewed and yes I respect life and consider late term abortion murder, just my view.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I disagree, Charlene. I'm debunking the myths as you seem to have interpreted them, by showing facts. I mean no disrespect. I'm trying to show you that you have been misinformed. I respect your rights as an individual to choose not to have an abortion.
Mike Liso September 12, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Doreen, I recieved an email from a veteran organization that prompted me to post what I did. If it was wrong, I retract what I said but if was right I stand by what I said. I looked up the post that you mentioned but I will ALWAYS have that doubt in my mind as I'm sure the government has a way to cover up anything as they did in the Kennedy assasination.
Charlene September 12, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Not misinformed read the bill. Did you? I am not opposed to rights to have an abortion. I am opposed to late term abortion and live babies being murdered, you are very good at spin. Enough you have your opinions, only that, not concrete facts, and I have mine, never the two to meet.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Mike, Thank you for taking the time to look up what I shared. I appreciate it. Thank you for having an open mind. Certainly, you are welcome to believe what you wish. I do thank you for checking into it, though. Have a great night!
Mike Liso September 12, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Doreen, I appreciate that you respect anothers opinion. That's what America is about. You as well have a great night
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 12, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Charlene, I'm breaking down, bit by bit, the misinformation that you shared above, with explanations provided by fact checking sites. These are not my "spin" at all. they are facts. These are not my opinions, either. My opinion is that there is much misinterpretation out there. I like to get to the facts, wherever possible. The fact is, The Affordable Health Care Act is considered Constitutional. And, so is the right for a woman to have an abortion.
cirrus September 12, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Charlene, Are against war? What did you feel about the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqui civilians killed indiscriminately (thousands and thousands of CHILDREN) by our indecent invasion? What of the 1.2 MILLION ++ Vietnam civilians? And your stand on caring for those unwanted babies destined to dismal lives?
Drea Marino September 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Mike, I agree. Doreen, thank you for your diligence in correcting misinformation in a respectful, well thought out manner.
Drea Marino September 13, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Here it is, all 906 pages http://democrats.senate.gov/pdfs/reform/patient-protection-affordable-care-act-as-passed.pdf
David Shultis September 13, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Here is a good piece on these fact checker sites. It's from NPR of all places. Yes, I am right leaning so this says a lot... :-) It all comes down to interpretation. One site says one thing and another site says something different. I wish I had the time AND intellegence to be able to read and understand this bill. We rely on these fact checking sites but even they admit that they are not always the referee on a subject but a mere fan. I knew I should have majored in Law school instead of IT! http://www.npr.org/2012/01/10/144974110/political-fact-checking-under-fire
Tom Scelfo September 13, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Regardless of who you support, PLEASE make your decision based on financial facts. Per the Obama budget, our national income is $2.47 trillion (personal income tax, corporate tax, excise tax, etc.); entitlements (retirement, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) is $2.2 trillion plus $225 billion interest on our bonds = $2.48 trillion, slightly more than our income. That sounds fine until you add $870 billion for the military plus $450 billion to run the government (Dept. of Education; Dept. of Energy; NASA; etc.). Therefore, we are $1.3 trillion in the hole, assuming we meet our budget. We are not about to cut entitlements by 50% or raise taxes by 50%. Therefore, unless we get some adults in Washington to address this issue, we, and our children, are heading for disaster.
Tom Scelfo September 13, 2012 at 02:12 AM
For anyone who thinks the "one percenters" are not paying "their fair share," per IRS statistics, the top 1% of all wage earners pay 34% of all income taxes; the top 5% of income earners pay 59% of all income tax; and the top 10% pay 70% of all income tax. The bottom 50% of all wage earners pay 2.7% of all income tax. Although I am certainly NOT in the top 1% of wage earners, if paying 34% of all income tax is not their "fair share," just how much should they pay? If you let the Bush tax cuts expire for only those making more than $250K per year (roughly the top 2% of wage earners), the Congressional Budget Office says that will give us about $60 billion in additional revenue. Although that's a lot of money, compared with our $1.3 trillion deficit, it's round off. Neither Obama nor Romney will present a clear path forward because any realistic solution will alienate too many voters because there will need to be a lot of sacrifice by a lot of people. Neither party has the courage to lay out a clear plan before the election because they will have no chance of being elected. So, I encourage you to look at your presidential and congressional candidates and make your decision based on the individuals who you think will have the courage to approve a plan to actually address our financial situation AFTER the election, before we go down the same path as Greece.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler September 13, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Hi Dave. :-) Here's the thing. Yes. There are many interpretations of what folks like to term as "Obamacare". I do try to find non-partisan breakdowns of the facts, though. If anyone can site alternative factual evidence in contrary to the links I shared, I'd be happy to read them. I have searched for factual breakdowns of the information, which cross party lines. (I do love that you reached over to NPR. Giving credit where credit is due. I know this would typically not be a source you would seek.) :-)
David Shultis September 13, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Hi Dor. :-) I know you do you due diligence on any subject. There is so much misinformation out there it can be hard to decern which is the most truthful. If politicians would only speak out of one side of their mouths???
carmen September 16, 2012 at 08:25 AM
wow!! so much hate!! May God be with you
carmen September 16, 2012 at 08:26 AM
Agree!! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
carmen September 16, 2012 at 08:28 AM
LOL!! I see you are over dosing on FOX NEWS. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
Bill Keane September 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM
The politics of envy, and fear mongering, currently in vogue, are so similar to what was floated in the 1980 Presidential race. This is not to mention the current unraveling all over the Middle East so reminiscent of the late '70's . Our embassy personnel are truly at risk, and we need to do everything possible to make it clear that billions in aid cannot be equated with a blank moral check. Unfortunately, as much as things change, they often remain the same...
The Best Patriot September 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Michael: Thank you for providing facts into this opinionated mess of a blog.
The Best Patriot September 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Mike is a Vet saying he's not voting for Obama because of Obama's not going to Arlington even though Obama did go according to Doreen's fine research in this matter. Thanks Doreen. Why don't check your facts first Mike before you start spreading bs.. But Mike will I guess vote for a Draft Dodging Mitt who fled to France to hide behind the women's under pants to avoid the draft. Typical Right wing logic.
The Best Patriot September 17, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Drea: She won't provide links because she can't. If you read her posts it's mostly fabricated right wing lies.
The Best Patriot September 17, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Obama took us out of the worst recession since the great depression, 29 straight months of job growth (even with republicans trying to tank the economy), stopped our banks from collapsing, doubled the stock market value, saved the auto industry and a million jobs (GM now #1 in the world), killed Bin Laden, ended the Iraq war, made BP pay the billions for the oil spill, created a consumer protection agency, saving our social security and medicare, got us middle class tax cuts. Perhaps you haven't been paying attention to what President Obama has been doing for the last 3.5 years.”
Roger Marlowe September 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Doreen, you say you pay attention but I really have my doubts. 16 Trilion in debt of which your buddy Obama is responsible for 6 Trillion of it. His policies just flat out do not work. Pray he does not get elected we as individuals and a country cannot afford him. How much do you really know about Obama? I mean really know about him and his beliefs. Do yourself and your liberal friends a favor and drive all the way to Branford and spend an hour and a half watching the movie: 2016 Obama's America. This will give you a much better insight into who he is. My wife and I are not better off today than we were since Jan. 2009. We both are now unemployeed after close to 40 years in the work force. We also have a sick parent. Any jobs out there are at minimum wage, that does not pay the bills in Connecticut the most expensive state in the country. Our only hope is that Romney and Ryan are elected. We need a business man in the White House who can actually fix things. Smaller gov and less spending and of course lower taxes.

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