The only issue that matters in the 2012 election is the income disparity between rich and poor. And the fact that, as a whole, people are not seeing the benefits of the growth in GDP.
That red line is 1980 (about) when America embarked on a reckless experiment with supply-side economics. This chart
shows inflation-adjusted GDP per capita and median family income from 1947 (the earliest year for which the income data are available) to 2007. To facilitate comparison of the over-time trends, each is indexed to its 1973 level. Since the mid-to-late 1970s, growth of income at the median has been slow — very slow — relative to growth of the economy. The current decade, with no improvement at all in median income, is especially striking.
And what is distribution of that “median family income?” Well, we’ve all seen versions of this chart before.
This is the consequence of abandoning Keynesian economics and it’s only going to get worse. Neither Romney nor Obama have demonstrated any understanding of this problem. Both continue to talk in terms of “expansionary austerity.” Economic recovery will happen in spite of what the politicians in Washington do, not because of it.