The Economic Numbers Under President Trump

Steve Moore posted an article at Fox Business on Thursday about the economy under President Trump.

The article includes the following:

The article explains:

In one Washington Post piece, the reporter sneers of Trump’s “rambling distortions” and complains: “Trump’s numbers appear to have originated in a pair of columns from the Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore, who used research from a private firm called Sentier Research.”

Stop right there. Yes, it is true the data comes from Sentier Research — a private firm. But what is not ever mentioned in the article is that the data come from the Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey,” which is the gold standard of economic data.

The article concludes:

In my analysis on these numbers, I have openly admitted these monthly data are a first rough estimate of what is happening with incomes over time — just as the jobs numbers are. They catch the trends over time.

Three years into the Trump presidency there is no calamity and there is no recession. Trump is right to recite real and legitimate data that substantiates the on-going middle-class boom in America today. It isn’t Trump, but his accusers who are engaged in “rambling distortions” and who deserve Pinnochio noses.

The questions for the 2020 elections are: “Do you want your income to continue to grow, and do you want to keep more of what you earn? How much of the money you have earned are you willing to give to people who did not earn it?”

The Delusional Candidate

Yesterday One America News posted an article detailing some recent statements by presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The article reports:

Joe Biden is campaigning to roll back President Trump’s tax cuts. The former vice president made his case Wednesday in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Biden touted his middle class background and announced his intent to hike the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. He claimed the repeal would help the middle class by hitting the wealthy and corporations.

“The wealthy didn’t need [tax cuts] in the first place,” said Biden. “Corporations have spent them on stock buybacks.”

Then Joe Biden claimed that former President Obama is responsible for the current economic success in America:

“Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from Barack and me,” stated the former vice president. “Things were beginning to really move — just like everything else he’s inherited, he’s in the midst of squandering it.”

The article then notes the actual economic facts:

Recent data from the Census Bureau revealed the middle class has experienced an economic boom since President Trump took office. The average family income rose over $5,000 since 2017. Under the Obama administration, household incomes only grew by about $1,000 by the end of eight years.

The main things that increased in the Obama economy were unemployment and the number of people on food stamps. Admittedly, President Obama became President at a difficult economic time, but his policies resulted in the slowest and leanest economic recovery in American history. President Trump’s economic policies have resulted in economic growth in all segments of the economy. The middle class and all minorities are enjoying higher wages and more jobs. A return to the economic policies of President Obama would be a step backward–not a step forward.

Poverty In America

Below are the U.S. Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines:

This is a chart from The Heritage Foundation showing changes in the poverty rate since 1959:

As you can see, the War on Poverty actually slowed down the decrease in the poverty rate that had begun in 1950.

This is a chart from Pew Research showing how the American family has changed:

First of all, living in poverty in America is not the same as living in poverty in any other part of the world.

The Heritage Foundation reports:

Because the official Census poverty report undercounts welfare income, it fails to provide meaningful information about the actual living conditions of less affluent Americans. The government’s own data show that the actual living conditions of the more than 45 million people deemed “poor” by the Census Bureau differ greatly from popular conceptions of poverty.[7] Consider these facts taken from various government reports:[8]

  • Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, at the beginning of the War on Poverty, only about 12 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Nearly three-quarters have a car or truck; 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.[9]
  • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.
  • Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and a quarter have two or more.
  • Half have a personal computer; one in seven has two or more computers.
  • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
  • Forty-three percent have Internet access.
  • Forty percent have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
  • A quarter have a digital video recorder system such as a TIVO.
  • Ninety-two percent of poor households have a microwave.

I think it’s time to examine closely the impact of the War on Poverty. One of the differences between business and government is that in business when something doesn’t work, you fix it. In government when something doesn’t work, you simply add more money to it. It is obvious which solution is more effective.

The goal of any poverty program should be to help people develop self-reliance and get out of the poverty program. Obviously that is not happening–we have generations of welfare recipients. Another goal of any poverty program should be to support the family unit. Obviously our current welfare programs do not do that. It’s time to reevaluate and redo our poverty programs–they are breaking the budget and not accomplishing their goals.

In March 2013, The Brookings Institute posted the following three rules to avoid poverty:

First, many poor children come from families that do not give them the kind of support that middle-class children get from their families. Second, as a result, these children enter kindergarten far behind their more advantaged peers and, on average, never catch up and even fall further behind. Third, in addition to the education deficit, poor children are more likely to make bad decisions that lead them to drop out of school, become teen parents, join gangs and break the law.

In addition to the thousands of local and national programs that aim to help young people avoid these life-altering problems, we should figure out more ways to convince young people that their decisions will greatly influence whether they avoid poverty and enter the middle class. Let politicians, schoolteachers and administrators, community leaders, ministers and parents drill into children the message that in a free society, they enter adulthood with three major responsibilities: at least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children.

Our research shows that of American adults who followed these three simple rules, only about 2 percent are in poverty and nearly 75 percent have joined the middle class (defined as earning around $55,000 or more per year). There are surely influences other than these principles at play, but following them guides a young adult away from poverty and toward the middle class.

Those three rules should be the foundation of any poverty program.

This Is Important Because It Determines Electoral College Votes And Congressional Seats

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a decision by US District Judge Dabney Friedrich.

The article reports quotes a CNN article:

US District Judge Dabney Friedrich declined to issue a preliminary injunction requested by a privacy and civil liberties nonprofit group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The group argued that the US Census Bureau was required to complete a privacy impact assessment before Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the addition of the question.

In response, the government acknowledged it is required to update its privacy impact assessments, but must do so before collecting census responses, rather than before deciding what questions would appear.

The court sided with the government, with much of the technical, 20-page decision centered on the question of when the law requires the assessment to be completed. The ruling also suggested the group would have been more persuasive if it had asked the court to require a privacy impact assessment be performed, rather than halt the citizenship question.

“The Bureau did not act contrary to the E-Government Act by deciding to collect citizenship data before conducting, reviewing, or releasing a PIA addressing that decision,” Friedrich wrote.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a statement it “intends to press forward with” its lawsuit.

The lawsuit is in the US District Court for the District of Columbia and is one of at least seven challenging the citizenship question. It is the only one focused primarily on privacy grounds.

Why is this important? The number of members each state has in the House of Representatives is supposed to be determined by the number of Americans living in the state. When illegal immigrants are included in that number, a state will be over represented in Congress and since the number of Congressmen from a state determines the number of votes in the Electoral College, the state will also be over represented there. In other words, the votes of American citizens will be diluted by the votes of non-citizens. Since most illegals seem to congregate in left-leaning states, counting them as citizens gives the Democrats more votes in Congress. That explains why the Democrats are unwilling to secure the borders and why the Democrats oppose a citizenship question on the census.

The following tweet explains the situation very well:

Misleading Propaganda From The United Nations

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the latest numbers on worldwide poverty.

The article reports:

Philip Alston, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, recently reported that in the United States, “[a]bout 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in third-world conditions of absolute poverty.”

He further argued before the U.N. Human Rights Commission that “one of the world’s wealthiest countries does very little about the fact that 40 million of its citizens live in poverty.”

That would be very serious if it were true. Thankfully it is not.

The article further reports:

Such claims do have a veneer of legitimacy, however, because when compiling the U.S. government’s official poverty statistics, the Census Bureau considers only the cash income each family reports in an annual survey.

These “official” income figures exclude substantial off-the-books earnings among low-income households and omit roughly 95 percent of the $1.1 trillion U.S. taxpayers provide in means-tested cash, food, housing, and medical benefits for low-income persons each year.

Fortunately, the Census Bureau also conducts, on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a survey of household expenditures, in which families are asked to report how much money they spend each month on each of up to 594 categories of purchases. Poor families routinely report spending an average of $2.40 for each dollar of official cash income.

…Alston claims that 40 million Americans have incomes below the official U.S. poverty level of roughly $24,000 per year for a family of four. However, the reality is that at most 25.9 million Americans live in poverty, based on reported spending less than the official poverty threshold. And, the official U.S. poverty threshold is far higher than the living standard for most of the world’s population.

The article explains what poverty looks like in America:

The severe shortcomings of income-based poverty measures are made clear when one considers the actual living conditions of those whom Alston considers to be in “extreme poverty.” American families living in “extreme poverty” typically have air conditioning, computers, DVD players, and cellphones. They rarely report material hardships such as hunger, eviction, or having utilities cut off.

The article notes that we need to find a better way of compiling our poverty statistics in America so that they actually reflect the truth. An accurate reporting of poverty statistics would help the government gauge exactly what our spending on poverty needs to be.

Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Changing The Parameters To Mask The Results

Today’s New York Times is reporting that the Census Bureau, an agency which President Obama brought into the sphere of the White House, is changing the way it reports health insurance date. The change will make it more difficult to measure the impact of ObamaCare in the report due out this fall.

The article reports:

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.

“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau.

Can you pick out the taking points?

This will, of course, mute the effectiveness of attacks on ObamaCare in the fall election.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Changing The Numbers To Fit The Situation

Remember when 5 percent unemployment under George W. Bush meant that we were in horrible economic straits? Remember when gas prices hit $3.00 a gallon under George W. Bush and it was the end of the American economy as we knew it? Anyone else long for those days?

We are being told that the unemployment rate is currently hovering around 7 percent. We are also watching the labor participation rate fall to 62.8 percent (Investor’s Business Daily). This puts the true unemployment rate at about 11.8 percent.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

When the economy fell into recession in December 2007, the jobless rate was 5% and the labor force participation rate was 66%. As job losses surged, unemployment doubled to 10% in October 2009, a few months after the recession officially ended. The jobless rate slowly began to edge down, but held at 9% or above for nearly two years, and above 8% for nearly three years.

But the drop largely reflected job market weakness rather than strength. During this time, labor force participation steadily fell. In October 2009, when official unemployment peaked, participation was 65%. A year later it was 64.4%. Now, more than four years into the expansion, it’s 62.8%, the lowest in 35 years.

But wait–there’s more. The New York Post reported yesterday that Congress will begin an investigation on how unemployment numbers have been calculated and released particularly during the run-up to the 2012 election.

The article at the New York Post reports:

Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.

On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election.

In 2009, before the 2010 census was taken, the White House changed the rules on how the census would be reported. The Census Bureau would report to senior White House aides. I will admit that at the time I thought this would result in some population statistics being altered to increase the number of votes in blue states and decrease the number of votes in red states. It didn’t occur to me at the time that these numbers could also be used to skew unemployment data.

The New York Post continues:

Back in 2010, I started getting reports that the Census Bureau had some very unusual hiring practices. Census takers and supervisors — at risk of heavy fines — were reporting to me that large numbers of people were being hired only to be fired shortly afterward. And then rehired.

I theorized at the time that Census was trying to make the job-creation totals look better nationwide in those bleak months leading up to the midterm congressional elections.

This employment policy seemed too coordinated. The regional higher-ups at Census couldn’t be doing this on their own; there had to be a grander plan.

I still don’t know what was going on.

But then I heard about the falsification in Philly. This time, however, it wasn’t the employment numbers that were being doodled with. This time it was the unemployment data, which are gathered at the Census Bureau and handed over raw to the Labor Department.

Please follow the link and read the entire story. Unfortunately most of the media is unaware of this or ignoring it. As voters, all of us need to be aware of what is taking place here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News That Really Does Not Make Me Happy

Bloomberg reported yesterday that incomes in America declined more in the three year expansion since 2009 than during the longest recession since the Great Depression. The ‘great recession’ in America officially ended in 2009. There is a technical definition of a recession, and according to that definition, the recession in America ended in 2009. However, the income and unemployment numbers for Americans have not improved.

The article reports:

“Almost every group is worse off than it was three years ago, and some groups had very large declines in income,” Green (Gordon Green, Sentier Research LLC.), who previously directed work on the Census Bureau’s income and poverty statistics program, said in a phone interview today. “We’re in an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.”

While gains in hourly earnings and average hours worked per week may have had “a minor mitigating effect” on income declines, they couldn’t offset a jobless rate that hasn’t fallen below 8 percent since February 2009 and a record duration of unemployment, according to the Annapolis, Maryland-based firm.

The average duration of unemployment increased to a record 41 weeks in November and remains at 39 weeks, Labor Department data show. Almost 5.2 million Americans have been out of work for at least six months.

This snapshot of the economy does not bode well for the re-election chances of Barack Obama.

Enhanced by Zemanta