Personal assets crash 22% under Obama, recession

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The struggling economy, President Obama's inability to fix unemployment and the sour housing market have cut the value of assets held by adult Americans by 22 percent since 2007, according to Pew Research.

In a new analysis of American household fiscal healthiness, Pew also found that those 35 and older have a higher and out-of-whack debt-to-income ratio of 1.22, the highest in three decades.

The crash in household assets and rise in debt comes as Americans are paying more in payroll taxes and at the gas pump, an unhealthy concoction that is sapping support for Obama.

A new Economist/YouGov poll provided to Secrets found Americans split on Obama, with 47 percent approving of his job performance, 46 percent not. And younger voters are especially distressed, with Obama receiving just 43 percent approval from those 18-29 who went overwhelmingly for him in the 2012 election. It's not better at Rasmussen Reports, which found that just 15 percent of adults view the economy as good to excellent and, in a related poll, that just 40 percent give Obama good marks for job creation.

Pew's review of personal assets--savings, retirement accounts, cars and houses--shows how devastating the long economic downturn in the country has hit Americans. Older Americans, age 35 and higher, have taken a 22 percent hit. In 2007, their assets were valued at $293,968, said Pew. By 2010, the newest figures available to Pew, assets had been paired to $230,018.

Pew noted that while the stock market has since recovered, housing is still deflated. Most older Americans have the bulk of their assets tied up in real estate and the stock market.

Younger Americans, below 35, have seen their assets drop 14 percent, from $38,071 in 2007 to $32,793 in 2010.