Income Upward, Poverty Downward

September 13, 2016

Picasso_bird_goat_dancingHow can the GOP spin this — ‘Thanks, Obama!’
Via Quartz this morning:

In 2015, the median household earned $56,500, adjusted for inflation, according to the US Census Bureau (pdf).
In real terms, that’s equal to a $2,800 rise compared with 2014’s median household income—growth of more than 5 percent.
That 5-percent jump is the biggest annual increase in real median household income in the time these data have been recorded, starting in 1968.
Last year’s surge was the first statistically significant annual rise in median household income since 2007.

Supposedly, the biggest ingredient in this jump has been the steady rise in employment, and particularly in full-time, year-round jobs, which is the real nutcracker.
Not deplorable at all…

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Musician, Dancer, Goat & Bird,’ found here).

On the coattails, the number of people living in poverty fell last year to 3.5 million from 43.1 million last year, pushing the 2015 poverty rate down to 13.5 percent from 14.8 percent in 2014 — largest percentage point decline since 1999.
Also mixed into the Census Bureau’s numbers: People without health insurance dropped to 29 million last year, down four million from 2014 — nearly 91 percent of people in the US had health coverage, up from 89.6 percent the previous year.

Yet politics on the plate — via Reuters this afternoon:

President Barack Obama hailed the report as evidence that his administration’s economic policies were paying off, but said more needed to be done to put unemployed Americans back to work.
“The Republicans don’t like to hear good news right now. But it’s important just to understand this is a big deal,” Obama in Philadelphia, where he was campaigning for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“For every family who hasn’t yet felt progress these past eight years, we’ve got more work to do – we know that. And the choice that you make, that we make, just eight weeks from today will determine the direction of this country for a long time.”
But House Republicans, who are pushing their own agenda to tackle poverty and other issues, rejected the report’s positive view.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, noting that more than 43 million Americans were impoverished, called the findings “another disappointing confirmation” of the nation’s struggles.

Deplorably disappointing…

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