Doesn't Romney remember the state the American economy was in when President Barack Obama took office? The financial sector was on the verge of a total collapse, the stock market was crashing, Americans were losing 750,000 jobs each month, credit was completely dried up, the auto industry was going bankrupt, our gross domestic product was shrinking at a rate of 9% annually, consumer confidence was at an all-time low, banks were failing right & left, and home values were depreciating at a breakneck pace. Essentially, the American economy was rapidly heading for a full-on depression.
Today, the Dow is close to the heights it was back in 2007 and almost as high as it has ever been. Chrysler & GM repaid the American people and GM is again the world's leading auto manufacture. The private-sector has added American jobs for thirty straight months. Credit is available to businesses again. American GDP has increased every quarter since Obama took office. Americans are consuming again. Even home values have stabilized (and begun ticking up in some areas).
Even though the American economy is admittedly tepid now, compared to when Obama entered the White House, it seems like the economy has been pushed up a very steep hill, not off the edge of a cliff. In other words, the answer to the question "Is the typical American economically better off now than four years ago?" is without a doubt "yes" -- much better off!
It was two terms of George W. Bush's fiscal policies that led to the Great Recession. Now when you look at the Romney/Ryan platform regarding the American economy, it is altogether indistinguishable from Bush's when he was in office. To quote the president who led America to four years of budget surplus and into the strongest economy since WWII, the GOP is saying about Obama, "We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in."