American Affluence Disregarded

By: Michael John McCrae

The article by Mark J. Penn, posted to the Politico website on November 11th 2008 interested me for several of the statistics cited that inadvertently proved part of the liberal hypocrisy leveled against Bush Administration economic policies.

Entitled: “Most affluent voters key to Obama sweep”, the article was largely pointed to the demographics of the electorate, but included information rarely noted by the mainstream media in general conversation.

Mr. Penn noted: “While there has been some inflation over the past 12 years, the exit poll demographics show that the fastest growing group of voters in America has been those making over $100,000 a year in income. In 1996, only 9 percent of the electorate said their family income was that high. Last week it had grown to 26 percent — more than one in four voters.”

In 12 short years there has been a 17 percent increase in the plus-$100,000 demographic. Eight of those 12 years were under the purview of the Bush Administration. This particular demographic seems to have prospered over this period Mr. Penn labels a period of “some inflation”.

The truth be known, the tax cuts established by the Bush Administration kept inflation in check for the bulk of his term. Through the first 6 years of Bush’s term more than 5 million jobs were created or imported from overseas sources. The currently cited loss of 2 million jobs keeps the Bush legacy of job creation on the plus side. In a recent column by Thomas Sowell, he noted that much of the economic hyperventilating by the media and the incoming administration is largely unwarranted, saying: “Amid all the political and media hysteria, national output has declined by less than one-half of one percent. In fact, it may not have declined even that much…We are not talking about the Great Depression, when output dropped by one-third and unemployment soared to 25 percent.”

Mark Penn also noted a rise in the next monetary group. He wrote: “And those making over $75,000 are up to 15 percent from 9 percent.” So quoting Mr. Penn’s math he wrote: “Put another way, more than 40 percent of those voting earned over $75,000, making this the highest-income electorate in history.”

I was scratching my head by this point. How could this be, with the so-called “worst” economy since the “Great Depression” being shouted from the highest rooftops of ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN?

The exit polling displayed for anyone paying attention, the prosperity of the American voter or “…the highest income electorate in history”! Taking the media out of the equation entirely and a hefty dose of duct tape over the mouths of liberal economists might have given the electorate a much clearer picture of an economy that was perhaps damaged, but certainly not destroyed.

Mr. Penn noted also that: “The poorest segment of the electorate, those making under $15,000, has shrunk from 11 percent to 6 percent over the past dozen years. And those making $15,000 to $30,000 annually — the working poor — also shrunk from 23 percent to 12 percent of the electorate.”

This has not meant a decrease in voters. Even though the 2008 turnout was not a record-breaker it was a very significant number. The decrease is in the lower economic standing of the electorate which now displays a major improvement over the 12 years noted by Mr. Penn. Where almost a quarter of the electorate were once “working poor”, now only 12 percent fall into that category.

The big liberal lie during the Bush Administration was that America was not prospering and people were becoming poorer. The leftist mantra during the Bush years was that millions of jobs were being lost overseas. This was a lie. During seven of Bush’s eight years the unemployment rate fluctuated between 4.5 and 5.5 percent nationally; meaning that for the bulk of Bush’s term roughly 95 percent of Americans were employed and the government enjoyed increased tax revenues during that brief stretch of economic boom.

President Bush inherited an economy headed into recession. He ended the slide with job producing tax cut policies that were later undermined by a Democratic led congress supported by an extremely biased media which, beginning in 2006, managed to destroy the economic gains of 2001-2005.

Even Barack Obama prospered during the Bush Administration. He went from a $42,000 a year hack working for the Illinois State Senate, to President Elect. But I’m sure he credits his own ingenuity for that and not the Bush-generated prosperity of his constituency.

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