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Economy still matters most
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As a news story, the economy has been overshadowed lately by war abroad, a border crisis at home, and the escalating fight between President Obama and congressional Republicans on a variety of fronts.But in the long run of presidential politics, the economy is still pretty much the only story that really matters. Yes, it's a good thing the economy grew at an estimated rate of 4 percent in the second quarter of this year, even though it contracted at a rate of 2.1 percent in the first quarter.And yes, it's a good thing that unemployment is now at 6.2 percent -- down from a high of 10 percent in October 2009.But the bad news is really bad. The Russell Sage Foundation recently released a report showing for households right in the middle of the American wealth distribution, net worth has declined from $87,992 in 2003 to $56,335 in 2013.For households in the bottom quarter of the wealth distribution, net worth fell from $10,129 to $3,200 in the same period.