Before the unforeseeable damage caused by COVID-19, President Donald Trump had taken the lackluster economy of the Obama/Biden years and turned it into a raging fire of opportunity, especially for the lower-income households in America. Janey Adamy and Paul Overberg report on new data about Trump’s economic success in the Wall Street Journal. they write (abridged):
American incomes rose sharply, and poverty fell in the final year of the country’s decadelong economic expansion, according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday.
Median household income was $68,700 in 2019, up 6.8% from the prior year and the highest figure on record. The poverty rate was 10.5%, a drop of 1.3 percentage points from the year before. It was the fifth consecutive annual decline in poverty and put the poverty rate at its lowest level since 1959, the first year it was tracked.
When adjusted for inflation, incomes last year hit their highest level since the bureau began measuring it this way in 1967.
“It was a pretty banner year for households, and really across the income distribution, we got a lot of eye-popping figures in this release,” said David Deull, principal economist at IHS Markit.
Real median incomes of white, Black, Asian, and Hispanic households all increased from the prior year. Lower-income households did particularly well.
Kevin Hassett, who was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Mr. Trump, said the 2017 tax law increased growth and wages and pointed to the declining inequality evident in the report.
“If you’re a social justice warrior and you’re looking at the data, you would have to say that the Trump years, through the beginning of the pandemic, were the sort-of best years for advances in social justice since World War II,” he said on a webcast Tuesday with the American Council for Capital Formation.
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