“Census Shows a Modest Rise in U.S. Income” says the headline-writer. Reporter Amy Goodnough has a rather more interesting story:
The nation’s median household income grew modestly in 2006, the Census Bureau reported yesterday, even as the percentage of people without health insurance hit a high.
Experts said the rise in income was mainly a reflection of an increase in the number of family members entering the workplace or working longer hours. Average wages for men and women actually declined for the third consecutive year.
Sounds like a recession is just what the doctor didn’t order….
UPDATE: Republicans are really psyched about this declining wages economy:
Some Republicans seized on the new data as evidence that Bush administration policies had been good for people’s pocketbooks. In a statement, President Bush said the news was a sign that Congress should not raise taxes. The data, he said, confirmed “that more of our citizens are doing better in this economy, with continued rising incomes and more Americans pulling themselves out of poverty.”
The poverty thing, seriously, is good news, but note that “the poverty rate fell in 2006 for the first time this decade.” So if Bush wants to be judged by the impact of his policies on the poverty rate he, well, sucks.