It's Not Just The GDP, Stupid

On the eve of the State of the Union Address, USA Facts has issued a report on the State of the Union that reflects some volatility in some fundamental areas including the population, the infrastructure, education, health, crime, defense, the U.S. standard of living -- and yes, the economy, too.

While the U.S. GDP grew 2.3% in 2019 -- the weakest of the three years of the current administration -- it’s on line with the recent historical average since we pulled out of the 2018 recession.

But the GDP doesn’t tell the whole story. On the bright side, America’s unemployment rate is at its recent low.

On the downside, many Americans remain under-employed and their wages are not growing significantly to keep up with the economy.

Median wages increased just 0.1% on an inflation-adjusted based from 2017 and 2017, the last period USA Facts has data for. 

The report is worth perusing for a couple of reasons. One, because it is a good primer for what the President will say in his prime-time address Tuesday night. The other is that USA Facts is the baby of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who founded it three years ago so that Americans had an easy-to-access and clearly delineated snapshot about the major statistical facts representing this country.

The rest, as they say, is spin -- especially in an election year.

Perhaps the most damning part of the report is what has happened to the U.S. budget.

While federal revenues grew just 2% in 2019, federal spending expanded 6%, creating a nearly a trillion dollars deficit, and boosting the national debt to nearly $23 trillion in 2019.

2 comments about "It's Not Just The GDP, Stupid".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, February 3, 2020 at 11:41 a.m.

    It's not a coincidence that Steve Ballmer created this USA Facts pseudo fact checker in 2017. It's just as nonpartisan as all former appointees and career bureaucrats in DC. 

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, February 4, 2020 at 8:12 p.m.

    40% are one paycheck away from bankruptcy and more are in deep trouble if a $500 bill shows up. The GDP or stockmarket does not reflect this. Most Americans cannot afford a $200,000 home, not even at $20/hr., let alone more expensive and it is "too expensive" for contractors to build homes, including row houses for less. Everyday, more people become homeless and the shitshower just wants to warehouse them. Yes, just throw them in empty warehouses; it's not a euphemism. 

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