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It's Raining Bad News For John Edwards

Pity poor John Edwards, he of the "Two Americas" rant. We heard one wag remark recently that both Americas could live on his vast estate in North Carolina, but no matter.

Here's a story from the not-very-conservative San Francisco Chronicle recounting some recent woes of Edwards:

  • Two $400 haircuts
  • A $500,000 paycheck from a hedge fund
  • A $55,000 speech to the University of California - Davis on -- what else? -- poverty. (Pause here for irony)
  • Well, the news for Edwards just got a little bit worse. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal featured this item (subscription required), noting a new Congressional Budget Office study that shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the poor are actually getting richer. Wow -- talk about wrecking a good political buzz. Says the Journal:

    CBO says the main causes of this low-income earnings surge have been a combination of welfare reform, expansion of the earned income tax credit and wage gains from a tight labor market, especially in the late stages of the 1990s expansion. Though cash welfare fell as a share of overall income (which includes government benefits), earnings from work climbed sharply as the 1996 welfare reform pushed at least one family breadwinner into the job market.

    The report also rebuts the claim, fashionable in some precincts on CNN, that the middle class is losing ground. The median family with children saw an 18% rise in earnings from the early 1990s through 2005. That's $8,500 more purchasing power after inflation. The wealthiest fifth made a 55% gain in earnings, but the key point is that every class saw significant gains in income.

    Of course all of this good news for the poor adds up to bad news for Edwards and the politics of division.


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    This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2007 7:21 AM.

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