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Rekenthaler Report

How Have U.S. Household Incomes Fared?

Judging by the cold data, as opposed to hot air.

By the Numbers
This being the political season, allegations abound about the status of American households. Democrats decry income inequality, while Republicans praise the nation’s economic growth, which, they assert, owes largely to their policies. Meanwhile, those outside the two major parties see problems everywhere.

This column tests those competing claims with data courtesy of two Congressional Budget Office reports: 1) Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019, and 2) The Distribution of Household Income, 2017. (Curiously, the former was published before the latter, which was released this month. Sometimes, the wheels of government turn slowly.) The charts that follow begin in 1980.