While economists and politicians celebrate economic recovery, the American people refuse to accept the good news. Only a third of the public sees the nation headed in "the right direction" - a figure that's dropped ten points since President Obama's re-election.
Improved unemployment numbers hide the fact that millions have dropped out of the work force. The percentage of the working age population that's employed is only 58.6 percent - much worse than 2007, and virtually unchanged since the recession's darkest days.
New claims that US households have, overall, regained the wealth they lost, concentrate on improved circumstances for the top third, while most families still face hard times and dim prospects.
As Republicans focus on Obama scandals they must remember that ordinary citizens still care most about the struggling economy and the difficulty of finding jobs.