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“Yes, I am better off now”

Dear President Obama,

I am a 39-year-old woman living in a Denver suburb. I am registered as an Independent voter. I am already tired of the election campaigning, but am trying hard to be an educated voter.

Mitt Romney asked, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” and it got me thinking about what has happened in our family in the last four years.

My husband and I are raising two boys, and after living in our current house for 11 years, we were out of room. This year, we were able to get a loan and buy a new house. Our old house was under contract in less than 30 days. I don’t think we could have done these things as easily four years ago.

My sister lives in the neighborhood in Colorado Springs that was almost completely destroyed by wildfire. Her house was spared. You came and walked around the neighborhood and thanked the firefighters and gave people hope. She appreciated that.

I made the last payment on my student loans in October of last year. My sister and I were the first generation in our family to attend college. We were able to attend because of Pell Grants and subsidized student loans. We both now have advanced degrees. I am glad that it is important to you that children in other low-income families are given the same opportunities that we had.

A couple of years ago, my youngest son asked if he would ever live in a time when we were not at war. I can now answer that he will.

Before school started this year, I took my kids to get preventive check-ups with their doctor. They were free.

I bought a car this year to take my mom on a trip to New Mexico for her 65th birthday. I had a lot of cars to choose from because all of the American automakers survived the downturn.

I work in a very small real estate law firm representing commercial developers, office tenants, borrowers, and lenders. 2008 was the worst year ever for me in my 15-year career as an attorney. In 2012, I am more successful now than I ever have been, and my clients are busy buying, building, borrowing, and lending.

So, yes, I am better off now than I was four years ago.

—Stacie, Colorado

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