The Daily Chart: Falling Incomes

On the surface—that is, going by some superficial macro-indicators—Joe Biden’s economy is better than Ronald Reagan’s economy at this point in Reagan’s first term. Inflation and unemployment are lower today than in early September of 1983, and economic growth was still anemic. Judging by the latest opinion surveys, a majority of Americans don’t see it this way, and are pessimistic about our economic conditions. I guess we just aren’t installing enough windmills to blow green smoke up everyone’s kilt.

September 1983 turned out to be when the Reagan boom began in earnest, and a year later he swept 49 states. No doubt some liberals think the same may yet happen for Joe Biden. But does anyone, except for a daft computer model at the Atlanta Fed, think we’re about to see 8 percent real growth and inflation falling further? It is amusing to see liberals annoyed that Biden doesn’t get any “credit” for a “good” economy.

Maybe this is why: from the Wall Street Journal today:

U.S. Incomes Fall for Third Straight Year

Surging inflation gobbled up household income gains last year, making 2022 the third straight year in which Americans saw their living standards eroded by rising prices and pandemic disruptions.

Americans’ inflation-adjusted median household income fell to $74,580 in 2022, declining 2.3% from the 2021 estimate of $76,330, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. The amount has dropped 4.7% since its peak in 2019.

And here’s the chart:

Those Trump years before Biden look pretty good, no?

Chaser: the federal deficit is going to be $2 trillion this year. To paraphrase the late Everett Dirksen, ” A trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about funny money.” I’m going to start buying wheelbarrow futures.

Chaser—another slice of the same data from our friends at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity:

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