August 18 2014

The Obama Economy: Middle Class Declines

Charlotte Hays

President Obama and his party talk a good game about being for the middle class. But the reality of what they have done to the middle class is different from the rhetoric.

The average American family has suffered economically since November 2008, when a Democratic Senate majority was elected and key items on President Obama’s agenda became reality.

The combination of a Senate supermajority and the most liberal president in history gave us ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and a $787 billion stimulus package.  So how has this worked out for the middle class that is the recipient of so many of President Obama’s political pitches?

Former senator Phil Gram and Michael Solon, a former adviser to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have a must-read piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning headlined “Senate Democrats vs. the Middle Class.”

They provide numbers that tell us what actually has happened to the middle class in this period of historic achievements for President Obama and the Democrats:

As is well known, the Obama recovery is the weakest in postwar history. If the Obama recovery had been as strong as the average of the previous 10 postwar recoveries, 13.9 million more Americans would be working today and the average real per capita income of every man, woman and child in America would be $6,308 higher.

But the real scorecard on the Senate Democrats elected in 2008 is in the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey data. While all Democrats claimed to be champions of the middle class and defenders of minorities and women, census data show how their program did not live up to their campaign promises.

And it is not just the middle class that has suffered—Americans as a whole are worse off under the big government policies of the Obama administration:

Since the Senate Democratic Class of 2008 took control, the average real income of the poorest one-fifth of American families has declined every year, falling to $15,534 in 2012 from $16,962 in 2008 (the 2013 data will be released Sept. 16). The average real income of the lowest quintile of Americans is now below the level it was in 1968, the year when the War on Poverty began its spending surge.

The next-highest income quintile, often referred to as the working class, has also experienced a continuous decline in real income since January 2009. The average income of these Americans has fallen 6.5% and is now $1,182 lower than it was when President Reagan left office.

The third quintile—America's middle class—has seen its average income decline to $62,464 from $65,672. More than half of this decline has occurred since the recovery officially began in the second quarter of 2009.

Women and minorities have been especially hard hit. Despite President Obama’s having been re-elected largely because of support from women, we haven’t done that well under his policies:

Married women, unmarried women and women living alone all saw their incomes fall. Under the Obama administration, the median income of women has fallen more during the recovery than it did during the recession, an unprecedented economic failure in postwar America.

The actual numbers expose the progressive agenda as one that most harms the people it purports to help and tell a different story from the campaign promises.

I urge you to read the Gram-Solon article.

 

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