Middle class wages dropping faster under Obama than Bush
Some day, a politician is going to be honest about the declining American middle class and stop blaming the guy in office for what has been a decades-long phenomenon.
But today is not that day. And Obama has left himself especially vulnerable to criticism in this regard because of his heaping blame on George Bush for failing the middle class during the 2008 campaign.
Turns out that the Obama administration has done nothing to halt the slide and indeed, the drop in middle class wages has accelerated on his watch.
Barack Obama campaigned four years ago assailing President George W. Bush for wage losses suffered by the middle class. More than three years into Obama's own presidency, those declines have only deepened.
The rebound from the worst recession since the 1930s has generated relatively few of the moderately skilled jobs that once supported the middle class, tightening the financial squeeze on many Americans, even those who are employed.
As a candidate in 2008, Obama blamed the reversals largely on the policies of Bush and other Republicans. He cited census figures showing that median income for working-age households -- those headed by someone younger than 65 -- had dropped more than $2,000 after inflation during the first seven years of Bush's time in office.
Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery, according to an analysis of census data by Sentier Research, an economic- consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland.
A president who attacked Bush's policies for favoring the rich has overseen a recovery in which the wealthiest 1 percent captured 93 percent of per-capita real income gains in 2010, according to an analysis of tax data by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
On average, families in the top 1 percent saw their inflation-adjusted incomes rise by $105,637 that year from 2009, according to Saez.
While there is no settled definition of middle class, the middle 60 percent of households nationwide in 2010 earned between $20,000 and $100,000, according to the U.S. Census.
It should be pointed out that raising taxes on the 1% will not close the income gap nor will such a tax increase affect middle class wages. Any revenue from a tax increase will simply go into government coffers, to be used as government uses the rest of its tax revenue.
Perhaps Mitt Romney should remind voters of Obama's words back in 2008 about how a president's policies affect the decline in middle class wages.