Create economic environment that generates prosperity and rising standards of living for working families.


Under Joe Biden, household incomes are declining, after slowly increasing under President Obama and consistently rising at a more rapid pace under President Trump.

Average Annual Increase/Decrease of Real Weekly Earnings for Production, Nonsupervisory Employees: Obama through Biden Administrations


A growing economy is the result of successful federal and state policies. Higher incomes for working families should be the constant goal of Congress. Federal policy makers do their jobs when the standard of living for working families is on a consistent upward trend. They fail when household earnings decline, after adjusting for inflation.

Rising incomes and a higher standard of living for working families will be the measure of success for a Republican Majority.

In 2012, veteran Democrat campaign consultant, James Carville, working with his longtime colleague, the pollster Stan Greenberg, published a book entitled It’s the Middle Class Stupid!. Their central thesis was that “the middle class formed the heart and soul of the country and prospered as the country prospered and saw each generation do better.”

In the book, Carville and Greenberg later warn, “[t]he American way has always been to reward people who work hard; it’s a core value.” They then day, “if you look at the last three decades, working hard hasn’t paid off. … The middle class is struggling today because of declining wages, reduced benefits, and crushing costs for the essentials of life.”

No one wants what Carville and Greenberg call “the income squeeze” for working families. But what data points do they use to back up their claim?

Probably the best measure comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in their monthly “Real Earnings” report for “production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls” and, separately, “for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls.” The first statistic represents earnings for approximately four-fifths of total employment on nonfarm private payrolls (well over 100 million Americans). The latter includes all employees on those payrolls.

The best part of this data series is that is has been consistently measured since 1947, and the use of the word “real” in its title means the numbers are adjusted for inflation. In fact, the series is pegged to 1982 dollars, meaning that if Carville and Greenberg were correct in saying “hard work” hasn’t paid off for three decades, then that hypothesis would be evident in this BLS report.

In fact, Carville and Greenberg’s claim when they published their book was largely accurate. At the time, it was widely agreed to that there had been income stagnation for the middle class. For that reason, House Republicans like myself attempted to pass economic policies that would generate faster economic growth when the Obama Administration was in office.

With the passage of the 2017 Tax Cut bill, which I helped to manage on the House floor, things began to change. The graph above shows how production workers saw their wages rise at a much faster clip than what they had experienced under the Obama Administration. More importantly, the numbers clearly point out that the Biden Administration has been a disaster so far for the working man and woman. Numbers do not lie. Is that true for all workers? Well, the answer is “yes.” Here’s proof:

Average Annual Increase/Decrease of Real Weekly Earnings for All Employees on Nonfarm Private Payrolls: Obama through Biden Administrations

What’s wrong with this picture? Perhaps it is best to quote another Democrat: Joseph Califano, Jr., who served as Lyndon Johnson’s Domestic Policy Advisor during the implementation of the Great Society, and who also served as Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. So, if there is anyone who knows how our welfare system should work, it is Mr. Califano.

His words are therefore instructive when he said, “The cornerstone of the Great Society was a robust economy. With that, the overwhelming majority of the people could get their fair share of American prosperity.” This is the same message as Carville’s, except in clearer terms.

Prosperity and rising incomes facilitate our public assistance programs for the elderly, disabled,  single parents with children, and the temporarily unemployed. A growing economy is necessary to making it all work. That’s why the fact that our economy has not grown in the past six months is such a concern.

The Biden Administration’s quarrel over the use of the word “recession” is an insult to working families. Working families don’t deserve a government arguing over what term to call the current situation. Negative numbers are different from positive numbers. Let’s at least agree to that. We need our economy to grow, not shrink. In the past year, economic growth has only averaged 1.7 percent each quarter. That’s too low.

Economic Growth in Last Four Quarters under President Biden

I agree with Joseph Califano, Jr.: we need a “robust” economy. To the architects of the Great Society, a growing economy and our assistance programs are not “either-or” propositions. For America to operate properly for its people in need, as well as for the middle class, it must be an “and” situation. For the safety net to work, we must have a vibrant economy and responsible programs for those Americans who need assistance. And by “responsible” I mean both the government offering assistance and implementing minimum work or job-training requirements for those receiving benefits who are able-bodied.

I also agree with James Carville and Stan Greenberg that rising incomes, which we had during the Trump Administration, are far better than the declining real incomes we have today.

Unfortunately, Democrats just passed “The Inflation Reduction Act,” which I think was fraudulently labelled. It will do nothing to reduce inflation. In it, they placed a minimum corporate tax on firms with $1 billion in profits for three consecutive years, an excise tax on stock buybacks, and a fee on imported oil. There are other tax increases but those are the largest.

I voted against the bill. If elected to the majority, I will work with my Republican colleagues to rescind as much of this legislation as we can in the next Congress.

However, it is important to note what the Democrats were not willing to do. Before they took office, they vowed to repeal what the “Trump Tax Cuts”. Instead they left most of that bill intact. Why? Democrats also know numbers don’t lie. They are well aware of the benefits which President Trump delivered to the middle class. They hesitated to dismantle that success, especially by taking away the tax breaks we gave to small business.

Our challenge now is that because of the Democrats’ misguided energy policies, their excessive regulation, and this misguided bill, we are likely to experience inadequate economic growth for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, you are now better informed of what Republicans will do if we regain the majority. And act we will.