Today White House Press Secretary Tony Snow claimed President Bush had closed the income gap between races:
QUESTION: After the speech, people said that the president said what he needed to say about the Voting Rights Act and they were very appreciative of that, but that the speech fell flat when he spoke about education, jobs and other issues. And they felt very passionately that on jobs, housing, education, affirmative action, the administration has not put forth policies that have improved their lives.
How do you respond to that?
SNOW: Well, two things.
First, you take a look at the economic data. And you have seen growing — I guess I could put it this way — income equality has a better record in this administration than in previous.
There was this widening gap. It’s not widening anymore.
But a look at U.S. Census data (Table 674) shows that not only is the income gap still widening, but African-Americans are faring worse under Bush than they were under President Clinton. The chart below shows that, under Clinton, the racial income gap was closing because the average median household income of African-Americans grew faster than that of whites. Under Bush, the opposite has been true: