Posted by Tina
Our President is unique among presidents. Incumbent presidents have always been killed at the polls under a bad economy but President Obama broke that record in the 2012 election. Sluggish growth, high unemployment numbers, and rising food and energy prices didn’t stop his voters from entering the voting booth to give him an undeserved second term. Those of us who voted for the other guy were stunned; some of us still are. This amounts to citizens voting to make sure their lives remain miserable and their opportunities few. Why would they do that?
A number of left-wing/media claims might explain this crazy outcome. They pushed the story that the middle class has been losing ground over several decades and the President’s class envy rhetoric poured gasoline on that fire. See here and here The left-wing also orchestrated the Occupy Wall Street movement to carry the theme that the rich were getting rich while the middle and lower classes were getting poorer. Placing blame on greedy corporations worked. Associating George Bush and Ronald Reagan as the commanders of those decades worked…and people voted against their own interests.
Naturally, President Obama was happy to spout lie that would ultimately save his butt at the polls but according to an October 2011 CNS News article the middle class actually improved during the trickle down policies of previous decades:
“From 1979 to 2007,” the report said, “average household income, measured after government transfers and federal taxes, grew by 65 percent.”
When government transfer payments are removed from the equation income, the money that people are able to earn for themselves, GROWS! Less government means more opportunity to make money. Bigger government blunts opportunity as it has over the last five years.
I lived through the decades of the eighties and nineties so I don’t buy the story that the middle class lost ground during the Reagan and Clinton years. I also witnessed the Bush years which, despite the war, still delivered a decent economy over his eight years in office. So naturally, I was enthused to discover a new study about median incomes that once again exposes the lie told by an administration bent on transforming America. The results are published in a Wall Street Journal article by Stephen Moore. The article also shows that the lie worked best among the most vulnerable. The people who voted for Obama have unfortunately been hurt badly since June of 2009, the date that marked the start of the Obama recovery. Check it out:
…those who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 were members of demographic groups most likely to have suffered the steepest income declines. Mr. Obama was re-elected with 51% of the vote. Five demographic groups were crucial to his victory: young voters, single women, those with only a high-school diploma or less, blacks and Hispanics. He cleaned up with 60% of the youth vote, 67% of single women, 93% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 64% of those without a high-school diploma, according to exit polls.
According to the Sentier research, households headed by single women, with and without children present, saw their incomes fall by roughly 7%. Those under age 25 experienced an income decline of 9.6%. Black heads of households saw their income tumble by 10.9%, while Hispanic heads-of-households’ income fell 4.5%, slightly more than the national average. The incomes of workers with a high-school diploma or less fell by about 8% (-6.9% for those with less than a high-school diploma and -9.3% for those with only a high-school diploma).
In terms of actual cash money, “median black household income fell by just over $4,000, Hispanic households lost $2,000 and female-headed households lost $2,300,” according to the study. That is incredible!
But wait. How have these groups done in previous years? According to the study they were doing quite well:
This is a stunning reversal of the progress for these groups during the expansions of the 1980s and 1990s, and even through the start of the 2008 recession. Census data reveal that from 1981-2008 the biggest income gains were for black women, 81%; followed by white women, 67%; followed by black men, 31%; and white males at 8%.
In other words, the gender and racial income gaps shrank by more than in any period in American history during the Reagan boom of the 1980s and the Clinton boom of the 1990s. Women and blacks continued to make economic progress during the mini-Bush expansion from 2002-07. “Income inequality” has been exacerbated during the Obama era.
Sadly there’s a good chance that many of these people will never be convinced that the man they believe has brought them hope and change has really done them great harm.
There is more to be learned from this study:
The Census Bureau data on incomes include cash government benefits, such as unemployment insurance, disability payments and the earned-income tax credit (but excludes Medicaid and food stamps). Most of the cash programs have surged in cost during the Obama presidency, yet incomes have still declined for the lowest-income eligible groups. This suggests that wages and salaries from employment have shrunk at an even faster pace than the Census data show. The shrinking paychecks of the past four years are consistent with two unwelcome anomalies of the recovery: a swift decline in labor-force participation to 63.4% from 65.5% during that period and a rise in part-time employment.
What all of this means is that the stimulus-led economic revival that began officially in June 2009—Vice President Joe Biden’s famous “summer of recovery”—has only resulted in lower incomes for at least half of Americans, the very ones who were instrumental in electing Mr. Obama twice.
The question is how do we give these groups of people the gift of what has been called Reaganomics? How do we show them the folly of believing in redistribution and economic policy based on class envy? How do we get America the beautiful back?
View the Sentier Research site here.