U.S. middle-class incomes have been surging under Donald Trump’s presidency, and the numbers have even spiked in recent months when many liberal economists and media were shouting “recession,” according to Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore.
In an op-ed article published Monday, Oct. 7, on Fox News, Moore cited the latest Census Bureau data to point out that middle-class incomes soared $5,003 since President Trump took office from January 2017 to August 2019.
The number contrasts sharply with the 16 years prior to the Trump presidency. In the seven and a half years that Barack Obama was president, not including the end of the recession, which the former president inherited, median incomes rose $1,043 (June 2009–January 2019).
In the eight years President George W. Bush was in office, incomes inched up just $401 due to the deep recession of 2008.
This means incomes rose by about $1,500 in the 16 years before the Trump presidency, while in less than three years middle incomes have risen three times faster.
Measured on a monthly basis, the contrast is even sharper. The monthly incomes rose $161 under President Trump, much higher than $11 under Obama and $4 under Bush.
Median household income has now reached $65,976—an all-time high and up more than 8% in 2019.
Moore said that these income numbers are pretax, so they do not include the impact of the tax cut measures taken by the Trump administration.
The Heritage Foundation estimates the average household has saved $1,400 a year on their federal taxes from the 2017 tax cut, which means many working-class families now have a $6,000 higher after-tax, and after-inflation paycheck today.
These surges in income, especially in the last several months, have occurred at exactly the time when many liberal economists and media were shouting “recession.”
Higher wage and salary incomes are no doubt related to the tight labor market, which has given workers bargaining power to ask for higher pay.
According to the Labor Department, there are more than 7 million unfilled jobs in the United States—the highest number of surplus jobs in American history, while the unemployment rate dropped to a 50-year low at 3.5%.
These latest income numbers also squarely contradict the claims by Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, who claim that all the gains from the Trump economy have gone to the rich and large companies.
“This has been one of the biggest middle-class success stories in modern times, and it is a testament to the success of the Trump tax, regulatory and energy policies,” Moore wrote.