by CHQ Staff
Our friend Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation economist, former Wall Street Journal editorial board member and founder, along with Steve Forbes and Arthur Laffer, of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, published a column in the Wall Street Journal recently with some truly amazing statistics about the Trump economic boom.
The column is behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, but we were able to grab a few key paragraphs from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity website.
In the column Steve Moore documents how real median household income—the amount earned by those in the very middle—hit $65,084 (in 2019 dollars) for the 12 months ending in July.
That’s the highest level ever and a gain of $4,144, or 6.8%, since Mr. Trump took office.
By comparison, during 7½ years under President Obama—starting from the end of the recession in June 2009 through January 2017—the median household income rose by only about $1,000.
And during the George W. Bush years – between 2001 and 2009 – the median income rose a mere $401.
The statistics Mr. Moore cited were published by two former census income-research specialists with 50-years of experience who now run Sentier Research, a nonpartisan research group. Sentier analyzes the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey to calculate the most up-to-date changes in median household income, which it publishes six months to a year ahead of the official annual numbers.
Sentier’s advance estimates are imperfect and sure to be revised, but generally have been a reliable leading indicator. Mr. Moore notes the big rise Sentier report doesn’t account for the effect of the 2017 tax cuts, which saved the average household $1,400 in 2018, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. For married couples with two children, the figure was more than $2,900.
Sentier’s data squares with other economic trends. It explains why consumer spending has surged this year and major retailers like Lowe’s and Target report massive sales. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had it right when he said last month that, due to fatter paychecks, families are spending and saving more at the same time.
Moore’s column clearly refutes the charge by Democrats, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, that only millionaires and billionaires have benefited from President Trump’s economic policies.
But it is also a devastating indictment of the Bush and Obama policies which resulted in nearly two decades of lost economic progress for Middle America.
And perhaps the most economically devastating policy shared by Bush and Obama was that of virtually unlimited in-migration to the United States.
In 2015 the Congressional Research Service released a study showing “Wages Declined As Immigration Surged” and what the study showed was that wages and share of income for the bottom 90 percent of American wage-earners declined over the past 40 years, as the foreign-born population increased dramatically.
Since 1970 the foreign-born population of the United States has increased over 324 percent. Employment-based preferences accounted for only 14 percent of the legal immigrants admitted each of those years. So, we think the strong case can be made that it is not the specific categories, but the sheer volume of immigrants that has been a major contributor to the economic and quality of life disaster that befell America’s middle-income citizens over the past 40 years.
Trump’s policies have reduced the immigrant in-flow somewhat, so there’s a strong case to be made that President Donald Trump’s pro-growth economic policies AND his slow-the-growth immigration policies have jointly contributed to the economic boom currently being enjoyed by Middle America.
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Photo “Trump Rally” by The Epoch Times. CC BY 2.0.