Democrats and Republicans debate: Are Americans better off?

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Associated Press

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 3 at 6:02 PM

UNDATED (AP) — Are Americans better off than before Barack Obama was elected president?

That's a question being debated today by the presidential campaigns.

Vice President Joe Biden says the answer is yes. At a Labor Day rally in Detroit, he led the chant: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

But Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, campaigning in Greenville, N.C., says the years under President Jimmy Carter "look like the good old days compared to where we are now."

Obama's supporters are insisting Americans are better off a day after Maryland's Democratic governor said the answer was "no." Martin O'Malley revised his remarks today, telling CNN "we are clearly better off," though "we have not recovered all that we lost."

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) says today's happier talk from Democrats must mean that in one day, "23 million Americans have found jobs, incomes have gone up, gas prices are going down, poverty is in decline and the deficit has been cut."

As for regular Americans, 28 percent of those questioned in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll said they were better off than four years ago, while 36 percent said they were worse off. Another 36 percent said they were about the same.

%@AP Links

APPHOTO MICK109: Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO Labor Day Rally, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (3 Sep 2012)

<<APPHOTO MICK109 (09/03/12)>>

APPHOTO NCSD102: Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at East Carolina University, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis) (3 Sep 2012)

<<APPHOTO NCSD102 (09/03/12)>>

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