The demographic groups that provided President Barack Obama with his 2012 election victory have fared worse economically than others during his presidency, according to The Wall Street Journals' Stephen Moore
"According to a new report on median household incomes by Sentier Research, in 2012 millions of American voters apparently cast ballots contrary to their economic self-interest," the editor wrote Wednesday.
Sentier found that real median household income
for Americans dropped 4.4 percent during the four years beginning in June 2009, when the economic recovery started.
"Those who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 were members of demographic groups most likely to have suffered the steepest income declines," Moore observed, noting that the president's re-election victory stemmed largely from his support among young voters, single women, voters with a high-school diploma or less, blacks, and Hispanics.
According to the Sentier Research report, households headed by single women experienced an income drop of about 7 percent, while the decline was 9.6 percent for those younger than 25, 10.9 percent for black heads of households, 4.5 percent for Hispanic heads of households, and 8 percent for workers with a high-school diploma or less.
"This is a stunning reversal of the progress for these groups during the expansions of the 1980s and 1990s, and even through the start of the 2008 recession," Moore said, referring to Census reports showing that from 1981 to 2008 the biggest income gains came for black women, followed by white women, black men, and white men.
"Mr. Obama has often contemptuously, and wrongly, branded the quarter-century period of prosperity beginning with the presidency of Ronald Reagan as a 'trickle down' era," Moore continued.
"For many in the groups that Mr. Obama set out to help, a return to the prosperity of that era would be a vast improvement."
Moore also noted that Census income figures included cash government benefits, such as unemployment insurance, disability payments, and the earned-income tax credit. The costs for most of these cash programs have jumped during Obama's presidency, he wrote, but incomes have still decreased for the lowest-income eligible groups.
"This suggests that wages and salaries from employment have shrunk at an even faster pace than the Census data show," Moore said.
"What all of this means is that the stimulus-led economic revival that began officially in June 2009 . . . has only resulted in lower incomes for at least half of Americans, the very ones who were instrumental in electing Mr. Obama twice."
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