The New York Times is now officially putting opinion pieces on the front page. Consider Monday’s article entitled: “Millions in U.S. Climb Out of Poverty, at Long Last.”
This is an amazing headline given the real state of the economy for the working class. Yes, according to newly released census data, incomes for middle class families rose by an impressive 5 percent in 2015. And poverty fell. Thank goodness. And as the New York Times put it truthfully: it’s about time.
But the Census Bureau report was anything but cause for celebration. It is a stinging indictment of the policy results of the last 15 years. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama are equally culpable for the sad state of the American family finances today.
What the New York Times didn’t say in its three cheers for the Obama recovery is that Census found that American incomes are lower today (adjusted for inflation) than they were in 2007. What kind of recovery is this, when we still haven’t made up the lost ground from a recession that happened seven years ago?
Even more worrisome is the Census revelation that Americans are poorer today than they were in 2000. In other words, for 15 years, average families have made no progress at all in terms of their personal financial situation.
Has there been a victory over poverty? Hardly. We still have more than 43 million Americans in poverty today. About one in seven of our citizens are poor. The absolute number of poor people is so large it is now the equivalent of every resident of California being in poverty. Obama’s record on fighting poverty has been a complete failure. The number of families that are poor grew by 3.2 million since the self-proclaimed Messiah entered office. That was mentioned in the NYT front page editorial.
If the poverty rate stood today where it was fifteen years ago, we would have seven million fewer Americans today under the poverty threshold.
Why is poverty higher? One big reason is that economic growth has been abysmally low over the last decade. With a normal post-World War II recovery, we would have $2 trillion more GDP this year. That’s more than the GDP of Ohio and Pennsylvania combined.
These numbers are not just worrisome, they are scandalous. They point to a decade of failed policies enacted by our clueless political leaders.
The Times then says that blacks and Hispanics have made the most progress in poverty reduction. But this is only looking at one year of data. Who does that? The reality is that blacks have lost ground economically since Obama entered office. Their incomes have fallen by 2 percent and that’s especially disappointing because blacks already have much lower incomes than whites and Asians, so they are falling further behind in relative terms.
Another point the Times failed to address: If the recovery is so strong, why are more than 40 million Americans still on food stamps?
Using one year of data after seven and a half years of Obama policies is pretty misleading and distortionary. Things did get better in 2015. But guess what. So far this year the economy has grown at just one percent. It looks like that one year of good news will be a statistical blip. No wonder Americans by a two to one margin believe the economy is “on the wrong track.” And they are right.
The left’s flimsy explanation for all this slow growth is that this is the best America can do in the 21st century. But Donald Trump put it very well in his economic speech last Thursday at the New York Economic Club when he admonished the liberal policies that have put us in this current state. “This isn’t the best America can do, this is the best they can do,” he explained.
He’s right. Tax cuts, regulatory relief, energy production, school choice, and repealing Obamacare will fix all of this and create, as John F. Kennedy put it at the same NY Economics Club a half century ago, “a rising tide that lifts all boats.”