"Rates and Levels"
The Speaker’s office offers this chart:
That’s rates. There’s also levels:
This is the crux of the matter. The policies we’ve been pursuing look to have had some efficacy. The situation is, in fact, turning around. But the scale has been inadequate to the size of the problem and consequently problems are still very severe. “Things are better than they would have been had we done what the other guys wanted” is an okay argument for wonks. But wonks and regular people alike would be more persuaded by “conditions are actually good now thanks to us.”