The indispensable John Merline at Investors Business Daily plots the details of "The Recovery That Wasn't" in the graphic to the right:
Employment: By this point, the average job growth in the past 10 recoveries was 6.9%. Under Obama, jobs have grown by just 1.9%, according to data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve….
GDP growth: The Obama recovery has also performed far worse than average when it comes to GDP growth. After 11 quarters, the economy is still only 6.8% bigger than it was when the recession ended. In contrast, GDP was 16% bigger, on average, by this point in the previous 10 recoveries, the Minneapolis Fed data show…
Had the Obama recovery tracked the average GDP growth in the 10 previous recoveries, the economy would be almost $1.2 trillion bigger today.
Incomes: By the third year of the past five recoveries, real median household incomes climbed an average 2.8%, according to the Census Bureau, which only has household income data back to 1967.
You know what comes next, right?
Protestations from the Obama side that this is all just proof that recession/depression was so much worse than any of us knew that it's a goddamn great and good thing that Obama is helming the ship of state because if it had been one of those idiot Republicans like George W. Bush we wouldn't have had bailouts and a stimulus that was too small to really effect the economy - even smaller than the $150 billion tax thingamajig that Bush tried in early 2008 that was really pathetic because we now know that even Obama's $800 billion attempt was obviously too small christ it should have been two or three or even four times bigger and for god's sake can't we just prepare for the alien invasion that Paul Krugman - he won a Nobel Prize so just shut up already! - says will create enough of a multiplier effect to finally restart the economy and screw the debt because we'll have thousands of years to pay that down, especially now that thank Zardoz we've got universal health care that will be awesome if the d-bags on the SCOTUS don't FUBAR it and Dodd-Frank means there won't be any fraud or dumb lending!
And of course the Republicans will counter with: See, none of this would have happened if we'd only followed George W. Bush's disastrous big-government spending ways and expansion of major entitlements and a defense buildup because sharia law is taking over whole hamlets in Oklahoma and our plan to increase annual spending over the next decade by just $1 trillion is so much better than the Prez's to spend $2 trillion more, especially after increasing federal outlays by 60 percent or more over the previous decade when we controlled things is exactly the tonic the economy needs right now! But seriously folks, what do you expect when you let gay marriage happen? No economy can recover from that!
Exit questions: Do you think the weak recovery primarily stems from the severity of the recession that ended in 2009 or the government's attempts to ameliorate the recession? Does it worry you more that Obama might be re-elected alongside a GOP Congress (both House and Senate) or that Romney (who supported TARP, auto bailouts, and stimulus) will be elected with a GOP Congress?