Posted: February 26, 2015 Filed under: Economics, Education, History, Think Tank | Tags: A Time for Choosing, Antibiotic resistance, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Conservatism, Conservatism in the United States, Gross domestic product, Middle class, Pethokoukis, Reaganomics, Republican Party (United States), Ronald Reagan, Scott Johnson, United States
Yes, Reaganomics Needs a 21st Century Update
“The GOP is debating whether Reaganomics needs an update” is a must-read piece by Washington Post reporter Jim Tankersley. One side answers the “What would Reagan do?” question by offering a nostalgic return to the 1980s Reagan agenda. Another prefers to apply the Reagan principles — a dynamic private sector, strong families and neighborhoods, upward mobility, work — to modern economic reality with different conservative policy results. Tankersley:
Leading Republicans are clashing over a signature issue the party has treated as gospel for nearly 40 years: the idea that sharply lower taxes and smaller government are enough by themselves to drive a more prosperous middle class — and win national elections. That simple philosophy has been the foundation of every GOP platform since the days of Ronald Reagan. Now, some of the party’s presidential hopefuls — along with some top conservative economists and strategists — are sending strong signals that they believe today’s beleaguered workers need more targeted help, even if growth speeds up.
For some context, here are a few then-and-now stats:
1.) When Reagan was elected president in 1980, the top income tax rate was 70%. Today, the top income tax rate is 40%.
2.) When Reagan was elected, the top 1% paid about a fifth of federal income taxes. Today it’s about a third.
3.) When Reagan was elected, the bottom 90% paid just over half of all federal income taxes. Today it’s around 30% with 40% of households paying no federal income taxes.
5.) When Reagan was elected, 8% of national income went to the top 1%. Today, it’s nearly 20%.
6.) When Reagan was elected, inflation had averaged nearly 9% over the previous eight years. Today, inflation is less than 2% and has averaged around 2% the past 15 years.
7.) When Reagan was elected, US publicly held debt was 26% of GDP. Today, it’s 74% of GDP with a whole lot of entitlement spending quickly headed our way.
8.) When Reagan was elected, more than 19 million Americans worked in manufacturing. Today, just under 12 million Americans work in manufacturing.
9.) When Reagan was elected, health care spending was 10% of GDP. Today, it’s 17% of GDP.
10.) When Reagan was elected, China’s GDP, in nominal terms, was 3% of America’s. Today, China’s GDP is over half of America’s and about the same based on purchasing power.
Let me also add (a) there is good reason to believe that faster GDP growth is not lifting all boats, (b) upward mobility is stagnant, (c) slowing labor force growth and productivity suggest it will be harder to generate fast growth in the future than in the past, (d) automation has taken a toll on middle-class income and jobs, (e) labor force participation by high school-only graduates has fallen by 10 percentage points over the past 25 years, and (f) inflation-adjusted market income for the top 1% has risen by 174% since 1979 vs. 16% for the bottom 80%. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 28, 2015 Filed under: Education, White House | Tags: American middle class, Barack Obama, Community college, John Boehner, Josh Earnest, Middle class, Savings account, Taxes, The New York Times, United States
Dan Riehl writes: Facing strong opposition from parents and both political parties, Barack Obama is abandoning plans to tax college savings accounts, also called 529s.
In making the announcement, the White House also said it will “keep an expanded tuition tax credit at the center of his college access plan.”
The decision came just hours after Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio demanded that the proposal be withdrawn from the president’s budget, due out Monday, “for the sake of middle-class families.” But the call for the White House to relent also came from top Democrats, including Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking member of the Budget Committee.
While the WH sought to portray the initial plan as taxing the wealthy to benefit the middle class, analysis indicated that a large number people who are far from “wealthy” were benefiting from the ability to put money away for their children’s higher education without fear of it being taxed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 28, 2013 Filed under: Economics, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Cadillac, Democratic Party, Medicaid, Middle class, Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Tea Party, United States
Victor Davis Hanson writes: On almost every left-right issue that divides Democrats and Republicans — as well as Republicans themselves — there is a neglected populist constituency.
The result is that populist politics are largely caricatured as Tea Party extremism — and a voice for the middle class is largely absent.
The problem with ObamaCare is that its well-connected and influential supporters — pet businesses, unions and congressional insiders — have already won exemption from it.
The rich will always have their concierge doctors and Cadillac health plans. The poor can usually find low-cost care through Medicaid, federal clinics and emergency rooms.
In contrast, those who have lost their preferred individual plans, or will pay higher premiums and deductibles, are largely members of the self-employed middle class. They are too poor to have their own exclusive health care coverage but too wealthy for most government subsidies. So far, ObamaCare is falling hardest on the middle class.
Consider the trillion-dollar student loan mess. Millions of young people do not qualify for grants predicated on either income levels, ancestry or both. Nor are their parents wealthy enough to pay their tuition or room-and-board costs. The result is that the middle class — parents and students alike — has accrued a staggering level of student loan debt.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 18, 2013 Filed under: Economics, U.S. News | Tags: Barack Obama, Congressional Budget Office, Economic inequality, Great Recession, Janet Yellen, Middle class, United States, Washington Post
A sign showing a foreclosed home in Texas for sale in August 2006. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press.)
Niraj Chokshi writes: The income gap in America has been widening for decades and the modest three-year recovery did little to change that, according to new Census data.
The new data suggest that despite modest recoveries in many states, the middle class has been shrinking while households have been added in the lowest and highest income brackets. In many states and nationally, the highest income brackets saw more growth than the lowest, but households in the middle brackets continued to decline. The state-by-state data compare incomes from a pair of three-year periods: 2007 through 2009, a span that included the Great Recession, and 2010 through 2012, a period that included the ongoing and modest recovery.
For years, the wealthiest 1 percent have amassed income more quickly than the rest. From 1979 through 2007, for example, the top 1 percent of households saw income grow by 275 percent, according to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office study. Compare that to the bottom fifth of households, which saw income gains of only 18 percent over that time. Recent Nobel Prize winner for economics Robert Shiller, who is known for creating a closely tracked home-price index, last month called income inequality “the most important problem that we are facing now today.” And just last week, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, called income inequality “an extremely difficult and to my mind very worrisome problem.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 12, 2013 Filed under: Economics, Think Tank | Tags: Cornell University, Kevin D. Williamson, Middle class, Poverty, Russell Sage Foundation, Stanford University, United States, Wall Street
Kevin D. Williamson writes: If you divided American families into six graduated income groups — poor, low-income, lower-middle, upper-middle, high-income, and affluent — and took a trip in time back to the Age of Disco, you’d find that nearly two-thirds of all American families lived in neighborhoods with median incomes in the middle two groups: lower-middle and upper-middle. Return to the present day, and you’ll find that fewer than half of American families live in middle-income neighborhoods. Progressives wringing their hands over consistently misinterpreted income figures need not go so far as Wall Street boardrooms for evidence of the economic inequality that troubles them so — they need only look next door.
Those are the findings of Kendra Bischoff of Cornell University and Sean F. Reardon of Stanford University in their recent study “Residential Segregation by Income, 1970–2009,” published by the Russell Sage Foundation. The results, if not exactly surprising, are nonetheless troubling. Neighborhoods marked by a mix of residents in the fat middle of the economic bell curve are growing proportionally smaller, while both high-income and low-income neighborhoods grow proportionally more populous. The Bischoff-Reardon study, unlike many others of its kind, does not examine households but families, meaning households in which children and their guardians are present. (A household, for U.S. Census purposes, can be anything from an extended family to a single person to six young hipsters sharing a Brooklyn loft.) That is important in that the consequences of income segregation are likely to be felt most strongly by children. Our antique Prussian factory model of education still ensures that most children’s educational options are limited by geography (the best efforts of reformers notwithstanding), and the likelihood that children will encounter peers in an organized sports league, church group, or school who are from better-off families are much more circumscribed than are the opportunities of adults to move beyond their immediate geographic horizons. The most important social habits are learned, but they are not taught; children pick them up from those around them, the same way they pick up language.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 6, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Barack Obama, Debate, Fighting in ice hockey, Ike Turner, Middle class, Monmouth University, Obama, United States
I have lightly added to this report by John Nolte to make it more relevant for our current political debate.
A Monmouth University poll released late last week And the Middle Class was notable for the fact that, like many other polls, it showed President Obama upside down on job approval with registered voters–41% approve to 54% disapprove Fighting for Jobs for the Middle Class. A closer look, though, reveals the poll’s most startling find: Obama has lost credibility with the middle class, and also, More Importantly, The Middle Class. When asked if Obama is sincere about refocusing his presidency on the middle class, And the Middle Class, only 46% believe it, Middle Class, while a full 50% do not, Middle Class or Not Middle Class All That Matters to Me Is the Middle Class.Independents are more skeptical than overall voters And The Middle Class. A full 54% (the number 50% represents what might be termed “The Middle Class of Percentages”) don’t believe the president, while only 42% do.
And the Middle Class.
And the Middle Class.
And the Middle Class.
As Ike Turner said to Tina, I only beat you because I love The Middle Class.
Posted by Ace via Ace of Spades HQ.
Posted: October 23, 2012 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Barack, BarackObama, Michelle, MichelleObama, Middle class, Obama, President, United States
I don’t want to lose this election.
Not because of what losing would mean for me — Michelle and I will be fine no matter what happens.
But because of what it would mean for our country and middle-class families.
This race is very close.
I’m not willing to watch the progress you and I worked so hard to achieve be undone.
Time is running out to make an impact — please don’t wait any longer. Donate $5 or more today:
I believe in you. If you stick with me, and if we fight harder than ever for the next two weeks, I truly believe we can’t lose.
P.S. — I don’t know what Election Night will hold, but I’d like you to be a part of the event here in Chicago. Any donation you make today automatically enters you for a chance to meet me — airfare and hotel for you and a guest are covered.
via Jammie Wearing Fools