+ The shrinking middle class is a myth
When are we going to learn to stop listening to politicians’ claims and start checking the facts?
Take the myth of the shrinking middle class. If one defines the middle class as households with annual income between $30,000 and $100,000, a smaller percentage of Americans are in that category than 30 years ago — because the percentage of Americans earning more than $100,000 per year has doubled in that time (12% to 24%) while the percentage earning less than $30,000 is unchanged. Thus, the entire “decline” of the middle class came from moving up the income ladder. Over the last 30 years, middle-class incomes have increased 40%, on an inflation-adjusted basis.
What about the claims that the Bush tax cuts severely reduced government revenues? Following the Bush tax cuts, federal revenues increased 35% through 2007. The federal government collected in one month $386.6 billion, the largest monthly tax collection on record. Tax relief helped sustain 44 consecutive months of job growth. More than 7.8 million jobs were created in the Bush years. Then came Obama.
Then, there is the claim that the intransigence of the Republican Congress is the reason Obama can’t fix the mess he made. Given the tripling of the deficit and the doubling of the national debt in Obama’s first two years, blaming the GOP for not meeting the Democrats halfway is like blaming the victim of a mugging who hands over $95 and then refuses to go halfsies on the last five bucks. What a selfish jerk! Without the Republicans, who knows how much more federal money Obama would waste?
John J. Killen Jr.