Obama said that when he met with Pope Francis last week for nearly an hour, they spoke about “their shared commitment to fighting poverty and income inequality.”
Indeed, like all Democrats, Obama tells voters they must elect him because he fights for the poor and the middle class. Blah, blah, blah.
So why is it that after more than FIVE years of the POS’s presidency, America is MORE economically unequal than ever before?
The Gini coefficient or index is a measure of a society’s economic equality/inequality via a statistical index of its income distribution. Developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini, a Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has the same income). At the other end is a Gini coefficient of one (1.0), which expresses maximal economic inequality (for example where only one person has all the income).
As you can see in the Census Bureau graph below, under Obama, the Gini index has increased 2% from when Republican George W. Bush was president, to nearly 0.48.
So much for the political trope that Democrats care about poor people whereas Republicans care only about the rich.
From the Census Bureau data, it’s more accurate to say that Democrats so love the poor, they do their best to widen income inequality so as to create more poor people.
An editorial in Investors Business Daily of July 30, 2013 observes that, despite his constant decrying about the gap between rich and poor, Obama’s policies have only produced record levels of income inequality.
Income inequality is a standard trope for liberals, who always use it to advocate more wealth redistribution. And, true to form, Obama is pushing for more federal spending and taxes on the “rich” in coming budget battles.
But what Obama conveniently leaves out of his sermons is that income inequality has grown faster on his watch than any time in the past two decades.
Research by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez shows that since the alleged Obama recovery began in June 2009, the average income of the top 1% grew 11.2% in real terms through 2011. The bottom 99%, in contrast, saw their incomes shrink by 0.4%.
As a result, 121% of the gains in real income during Obama’s recovery have gone to the top 1%. By comparison, the top 1% captured 65% of income gains during the Bush expansion of 2002-07, and 45% of the gains under Clinton’s expansion in the 1990s.
The Census Bureau’s official measure of income inequality — called the Gini index — shows similar results. During the Bush years, the index was flat overall — finishing in 2008 exactly where it started in 2001. It’s gone up each year since Obama has been president and now stands at all-time highs.
It’s worth underscoring that the growing income gap under Obama isn’t the result of the rich getting fabulously richer. Instead, it is the direct result of Obama’s historically weak economic recovery, which has left the rest of the country falling behind while the wealthy have managed to make gains.
This is the Obama economy, as shown in census data:
- The poorest 20% of families saw their real average income continue to fall each year from 2009 to 2011 — the last year for which the Census has data — while the top 20% recouped losses suffered in the recession.
- There are 2.7 million more people in poverty and 14 million more on food stamps than there were in 2009.
- After four years of economic recovery, there are still 4.3 million long-term unemployed.
- High-paying jobs lost during the recession are being replaced, if at all, largely by low-paying jobs in the Obama recovery.
All this is in stark contrast to previous economic recoveries, which generally saw at least some income gains across the Census Bureau’s income groupings.
Despite this record, Obama’s answer is simply to increase the dose of the very same treatments — more government spending, more taxes, more intrusions into the marketplace in the name of “shared prosperity” — that hobbled the recovery and produced the very misery he now claims he can fix.
Moral of this story:
The policies of Obama and the Democrats are bad for business, which means the poor and the middle class just keep getting poorer.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.