As we steel ourselves for the last foul stretch of this season of slander and calumny - early voting began yesterday - here are a few things to consider about our president and his administration. With minimal comment, the following is Barack Obama, by the numbers.
> 5.5 trillion - dollars of new debt accumulated in less than four years by the president, who as a candidate pledged to "cut the deficit in half" during his first term. His administration estimates there will be $1.13 trillion of new debt this year - more than twice what it was in the last year of George W. Bush's presidency.
> 1.03 trillion - dollars spent in our FY 2011 budget for entitlements. Forty percent of that amount was borrowed money.
> $875 billion - dollars spent in Obama's ARRA "stimulus" bill, intended to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent by providing "shovel-ready" jobs.
> Between 200,000 and 1.1 million - jobs created by the stimulus bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Studies by George Mason University's Mercatus Center indicate that almost half of these are not new, but are simply preexisting jobs now being funded by tax dollars. You do the math.
> 44 - consecutive months the unemployment rate was above 8 percent during the Obama presidency. And if you believe that the unemployment rate is now 7.8 percent because we've been creating jobs like mad over the past year instead of finding ever more creative ways not to count the unemployed, I've got some Florida real estate to sell you. We'll just have to wait until the tide goes out...
> $763 billion - what the deficit would have been in 2011 had the "1 percent" been dispossessed of every last dime of their income - something a government gets to do once. As the White House knows only too well but will not admit, we cannot tax our way out of the hole in which our spending habits landed us, no matter how appealing the "fairness" argument might be.
> 142 million - working Americans in August, 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In August of 2008, 145.5 million Americans were working. The Obama Administration crows that it "created or saved" 4.5 million jobs, but the BLS can't seem to find them. Instead, 3.5 million fewer Americans are working now than in mid-2008. More than 600,000 Americans were dropped off the rolls in the past three months, the real reason the unemployment rate has fallen.
> 47 million - Americans now receiving Federal food assistance, a marker for poverty. Note that if one simply divided our Federal entitlement budget by this number, it's $200,000 per person. Would one-third that amount be enough to "end poverty as we know it?" And what does it tell you when federal antipoverty programs could be more efficiently handled by simply handing out $100 bills on the street corner?
> 6.1 million - Americans who have given up looking for work entirely in the past three years.
> 4.5 million - middle class Americans whose taxes will go up courtesy of Obamacare, the brainchild of the President who has repeatedly promised "never to raise taxes on the middle class..." So says the Congressional Budget Office, which notes that an additional 1.5 million people and businesses in higher income brackets will also see tax increases.
> $4,511 - decline in Colorado's median household income during the Obama recession. $400 of that occurred last year. Democrats and their hangers-on insist this is proof that things are getting better - because they are getting worse less quickly.
> 4 - US diplomats, including an Ambassador, killed in an al-Qaeda planned attack on our mission in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
> 3 - days of intense questioning before the White House finally admitted the Benghazi attack might - repeat, might - be the work of terrorists, not just a result of "...continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims," to use our Cairo Embassy's phrase. Even the "new to foreign policy" team of Romney and Ryan got this right before the White House.
> 2 - weeks during which the administration continued to misrepresent the Benghazi attack while knowing it was the work of an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group. To add insult to injury, we now also know the administration received warnings of such an attack from multiple sources, but ignored them.
> $3.81 - Average price per gallon of unleaded gas last weekend. It was $1.82 when George W. Bush left office.
> 1.2 - percent growth rate in the past quarter - revised downward from 1.7 percent. The most optimistic projections for annual growth this year is 1.5 percent.
> Zero - reasons to vote to return this president, with his record of division and debt, dissembling, discouragement and defeatism, to another term.
So go vote. And choose wisely.
Summit County resident Morgan Liddick pens a Tuesday column. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.