Trump's boast the middle class is better off than under Obama is a lie -- here's why
Composite image. Photo of Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore and White House photo of Barack Obama by Pete Souza.

In a column for the Daily Beast, communications strategist Elizabeth Thorp made a compelling case that Donald Trump is lying when he says the middle class is better off now than they were under former President Barack Obama.


Noting that the president boasted at his State of the Union,"From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy... If we hadn't reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witnessing this great economic success," Thorp said the numbers and reality do not bear that out.

"This of course is a lie, on at least two levels," Thorp wrote. "First, he isn’t doing much more than continuing the job growth we had under Barack Obama. Indeed, the job growth in each of Obama’s last three years all exceeded Trump’s best year. And second, this 'great success' has been the reality mostly for the super-duper rich—with the middle and working-class left far behind and living paycheck to paycheck."

As the columnist notes, economic data shows that those who are well-off are doing quite well under Trump -- and everyone else is suffering.

"In California, for example, from 2009 to 2018, the state’s top 5 percent of households saw their inflation-adjusted incomes rise 22.3 percent. Simultaneously, the bottom 20 percent of households saw their incomes drop by 1.8 percent. Given these numbers, economic inequality in California increased at nearly twice the national average," she explained. "With the richest 1 percent of Americans now pulling in one-third of the country’s net worth, while the bottom half of the population are subsisting with only 1.2 percent, it’s clear that Trump’s economic policies and tax cuts are geared to boost the coffers of Mar-a-Lago members with complete disregard for middle- and working-class Americans."

The columnist then got personal.

"No, Donald, the economy is not 'spectacular' and it’s not 'absolutely booming' either," she wrote. "Eighty percent of workers live paycheck to paycheck. I’m a part of an upper-middle-class two-income household, but we’re still moving money around like a damn shell game while hoping that we don’t get sick, the basement doesn’t flood, or our car doesn’t die."

"Fact: The median household income growth dropped significantly under Trump, including for the poorest Americans who are barely surviving. The poorest American households saw real incomes drop in 13 states and overall had slower growth than under Obama in 36 states. Low-income households—with average earnings of an inconceivable $14,000 a year—saw their inflation-adjusted incomes increase only 2.4 percent under Trump," she added. "They grew more than twice as fast, at 5.5 percent, during the final two years of the Obama administration."

To wrap up her case, the columnist went to point out that, "This interactive map shows the 48 states where median household income growth fell in Trump’s two years compared to the last two years under Obama."

She then concluded that it is time for Trump to go.

"Aside from the billionaire class, we were unequivocally economically better off under Obama. We might not be able to bring him back, but we can vote Trump out of office. We need a president who cares about inequality and enacts economic policy to the benefit all Americans, and not just the ones who own football teams, have family foundations, or who fly on private jets," she concluded.

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