We’re not going to dissect this story with links and great detail because it is too tiresome to do so, and well qualified people will no doubt perform that task in exemplary fashion. It is just so annoying to see the agenda oozing from every pore. NYT:
Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows.
While incomes have been on the rise since 2002, the average income in 2005 was $55,238, still nearly 1 percent less than the $55,714 in 2000, after adjusting for inflation, analysis of new tax statistics show.
The combined income of all Americans in 2005 was slightly larger than it was in 2000, but because more people were dividing up the national income pie, the average remained smaller. Total adjusted gross income in 2005 was $7.43 trillion, up 3.1 percent from 2000 and 5.8 percent from 2004.
Total income listed on tax returns grew every year after World War II, with a single one-year exception, until 2001, making the five-year period of lower average incomes and four years of lower total incomes a new experience for the majority of Americans born since 1945.
Relevant items omitted from the Times story include: (a) the elimination of stock bubble gains from AGI for the base year: (b) after tax as well as pre-tax income figures on wage income for the years cited; (c) exclusion of the EITC; (d) use of less biased comparative periods; and on and on. Further, the tortured sentence that include the phrase “a single one-year exception” ought perhaps to be taught in journalism schools as a textbook case of how to write an agenda story and label it as reporting.
It is certainly possible to write credible and honest stories of the failings of the Bush administration on the economic well-being of ordinary Americans — this is not one of them, however.
Tom Blumer’s piece at Newsbusters represents an excellent start at a rebuttal to the Times.