Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Under Obama, the Poorest 20% Aren't Even Better Off Than They Were 25 Years Ago

The real median household income data from the Census Bureau can be sliced and diced several ways. One of the interesting ones is where they give you the upper bounds of the different quintiles (essentially at what point to you become a member of the lowest quintile or the top one, etc. They even show the level at which you become a member of the top 5%).  As you can see, the Obama administration hasn't been particularly kind to any income level.  Even the top 5% have seen their median incomes fall to below 1999 levels (in case you went to Chicago public schools, that was 13 years ago).  The worst hit were the poorest, who saw their incomes fall to levels not seen since 1987 (their median income fell 6.3% since 2008, a higher number than any other income group).  Anyway, here is the chart:

How can this be?  Isn't Obama working to help the poor by getting the rich to pay more?  Aren't they one of his key constituencies?  Not really.  If you look at his stimulus package, much of it went to save public sector employee jobs, they typically are not the poorest of society, they typically make enough to be in the 2nd or 3rd highest (aka the middle one) quintiles.  What he does provide to the poor are just handouts that don't actually help them succeed or escape out of their income grouping.  Food stamps and unemployment benefits for 99 weeks create a floor but they don't raise anybody above that floor.  You could even argue that it reduces the incentive for people to hurry up and do something to better their predicament.  This data indicates that he might in fact be a drug dealer of the welfare state.

No comments:

Post a Comment