Politics

Trump brags about median household income record, ignores pesky inflation and income inequality

If there’s one thing Donald Trump loves to do, it’s brag. It doesn’t matter if the thing he’s bragging about was done by somebody else or if it’s not even a real accomplishment. If Trump can proclaim victory on something — especially at a time when his losses are quickly mounting — he’ll do it.

Tuesday, that ‘let’s claim a win’ mentality landed on median household income.

Even ignoring Trump’s proclamation at the end of the tweet that seems to indicate he thinks he should be impeached, the tweet is laughable.

For one, Trump wants credit for inheriting a bull market. He is largely standing on the shoulders of Barack Obama, whose decision-making staunched the recession and turned the economy around. Median household income has largely risen as the effects of the recession rippled away.

On top of that, Trump is bragging about real dollars, not adjusted for inflation dollars.

A five-pound bag of flour cost a quarter in 1935 and costs about $3 now. Of course the 12x rise isn’t attributed to flour being a rarer good today than it was 80 years ago, but is mostly the result of inflation. Real median income, which Trump is bragging about, is not adjusted for inflation. It should go up every year, all things being equal.

In fact, adjusted for inflation figures reveal that there is nothing to brag about. Moreover, income inequality between the richest and poorest Americans is higher than ever, with the gap above every European nation.

Income inequality in the United States has hit its highest level since the Census Bureau started tracking it more than five decades ago, according to data released Thursday, even as the nation’s poverty and unemployment rates are at historic lows.


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