Americans Are Making More 🤑 Than Ever

 Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Household income at all-time high

The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on Income and Poverty for 2017. The report included lots of good news: household income rose to $61k in 2017, 2.4 million people were hired to full-time jobs, and the household poverty rate declined from 12.7% to 12.3%.

White House says victory for Trump

The White House said the new report shows that effects of the “strong economy are reaching Americans throughout the United States.” The report, though, goes on to argue for reforms to the American safety net to focus more on job-enabling welfare programs over handouts. 


LEANING LEFT:

Vox: Social Security, food stamps, and other programs kept 44 million people out of poverty last year

Boston Globe: Incomes are up, poverty is down — but Americans should be doing better

The left focuses on the negative news within the Census report. Women still earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn and incomes for the bottom 10% of households actually declined. The rate of income growth is also declining; with the economy growing as fast as it is, the left says, workers ought to see their incomes growing faster. Basically, they're saying the rich are seeing most of the gains.

LEANING RIGHT:

Breitbart: Winning: Median U.S. Household Income Reaches Record High

Washington Times: Incomes hit new record high and poverty fell to pre-recession low in 2017

The right focuses on the good news: mainly the topline stat that incomes are higher than ever before. The right attributes the strong economy to President Trump’s policies. Deregulation, tax reform, and Trump’s trade moves, the right argues, are making Americans richer. Some articles point out that these numbers will get even better since they currently don't include the total effect of the tax reform bill.


So, does Trump deserve the credit?

Trump may be helping to sustain the economy to a certain degree, but he didn't make it strong to begin with. Most economists agree that presidents have little effect on economic performance (NY Times and the National Review both make the argument). It’s business cycles that drive economies - and Trump happened to take office as this cycle meanders higher.

US economy right now

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