Do you want to know how bad things have gotten for Americans in recent years? Just look at the latest economic statistics.

According to a new report by the Federal Reserve, nearly half of US citizens would be completely unable to handle an unexpected expense of $400. 47% of people said that they didn’t think they could handle such an expense, but the Fed’s breakdown of that 47% revealed how bad the situation really is: 14% said they simply couldn’t cover it. Another 10% would have to sell something, 13% would have to borrow money from a friend or relative and 2% would have to resort to a high-interest payday loan.

Take a minute to think about what this means. Almost half of the country would not be able to afford a trip to the emergency room – even if they had health insurance – because the out of pocket expense on that trip would easily top $1,000, more than double the $400 threshold. We now live in a country where almost half of the population has no idea how they would pay for car repairs, or home repairs, or medication, or eye glasses.

Republicans think this is just fine. After all, that 47% who can’t afford a $400 expense is probably the same 47% that Mitt Romney was referring to in his infamous video that helped him lose the Presidency. To Republicans, these people are simply lazy, useless, moochers who deserve their lot in life. They ignore the fact that study after study shows us that upward mobility in America today is non-existent, and one of the only ways to become wealthy is to be born into an already-well off family.

The American dream has died, and the Republicans are the ones who killed it.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced