The Racial Wealth Gap

Plus: The kind of immigration Republicans are on board with.

1. What Biden’s Done for Black Wealth

How accurate are President Biden’s claims that his policies improved black American prosperity? (WaPo)

What Biden told black voters in Philadelphia last week: "The racial wealth gap is the lowest it’s been in 20 years because of our efforts.”

Wealth gap data shows: Median black family wealth grew 61% from 2019 to 2022, per the Federal Reserve.

  • Median white family wealth also grew, leading to a $50,000 increase in the wealth gap.

  • The bump in black wealth was mainly due to rising home values, according to the data.

On the plus side for Biden: Black poverty hit a record low in 2022, and black unemployment has hit historic lows during his tenure.

Black Americans are split on whether their economic circumstances were better under Biden or Donald Trump, per a Washington Post-Ipsos poll from April.

  • 22% of feel financially better off since Biden took office.

  • 22% feel worse off.

  • 54% feel about the same.

Why’s Biden talking about this now? The president is trying to shore up his support among black voters, who have shifted in Trump’s direction since 2020.

2. America’s Consumption Fixation

For better or for worse, spending and consuming seem ingrained in American culture. (Kevin Drum)

No other country in the world can match the U.S. when it comes to consumer spending as a share of GDP.

  • The U.S. has the biggest economy in the world, but as political blogger Kevin Drum notes, we funnel “very little” of our massive GDP “to savings and investment.”

  • The average American spends $53,000 a year, which is more than 70% of the per capita GDP.

Chart: Kevin Drum

One sign of how much we love to spend: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last month that Americans collectively owe $1.12 trillion on their credit cards.

  • The average credit card balance per consumer is $6,218, an 8.5% year-over-year increase.

  • Serious delinquencies (90+ days past due) are at their highest since 2010, and overall delinquency rates have risen.

Bubba’s Two Cents

There’s nothing inherently bad about spending and consumption — to the contrary, they’re both key features of free markets and capitalism. They help drive economic activity, job creation, investment and innovation. But moderation is key when your debts are ballooning. And that holds true whether you’re an individual with a big credit card balance, or the federal government overseeing a historically high national debt.

3. Common Ground on Immigration

The current political environment shouldn’t lead us to think Americans are opposed to all forms of immigration. (Economic Innovation Group)

A new Economic Innovation Group/Echeclon Insights poll: 75% of Americans support increasing high-skilled immigration (HSI) into the U.S.

This support cuts across political lines and swing states: 71% of Donald Trump supporters and 86% of Biden supporters favor more HSI.

  • Over two-thirds of voters in swing states agree.

  • 60% of voters, including 89% of GOP voters, agree with Trump’s idea of a “big, beautiful door” for legal immigration.

The latest: This week, President Biden signed an executive order restricting asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Biden’s tougher tack on immigration is a response to growing voter concerns about the border crisis.

  • According to a Gallup poll in April, immigration was cited as the top U.S. issue for three months straight.

  • About half of Americans support mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, per a CNN poll.

Bubba’s Two Cents

The Economic Innovation Group poll suggests Americans’ current concerns about immigration levels aren’t cultural (aka racist), but pragmatic. Americans don’t mind immigration as long as they feel like it’s contributing positively to the country.

4. Dems Take Sides on Israel

The Israel-Gaza War has led to deep divisions in the Democratic Party. (Axios)

The latest: The Congressional Progressive Caucus has withdrawn its endorsement of Mondaire Jones.

  • Earlier this week, Jones criticized progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s Israel rhetoric and endorsed the New York Democrat’s primary opponent.

  • “I will always stand up for my Jewish constituents. It’s just critically important we rebuke the extremists that some would have take over the Democratic Party,” Jones told Jewish Insider.

  • In the midst of a public outcry in March, Bowman retracted his claim that reports of sexual violence against Israeli women on Oct. 7 were “propaganda.”

It’s not just Jones vs. Bowman:

  • Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., has been unapologetic about his support for Israel, and it’s led to public clashes with fellow Democrats.

  • In February, pro-Israel Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., left the Progressive Caucus over the Gaza War issue.

  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the radical Democrat from Michigan, recently called President Biden an “enabler” of genocide.

Tlaib at a pro-Palestine speech in Detroit last month: “It is disgraceful that the Biden administration and my colleagues in Congress continue to smear [anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian students on college campuses] for protesting to save lives — no matter their faith or ethnicity. It is cowardly. But we’re not going to forget in November, are we?”

Americans broadly support Israel, but Democratic voters are much more divided and have become increasingly sympathetic toward Palestine.

  • A Wall Street Journal poll from December found nearly 25% of Democrats sympathize with Palestinians, compared to 17% who sympathize with Israelis.

  • Democrats under 50 sympathize more with Palestinians by a 35% to 13% margin.

  • Democrats over 50 sympathize more with Israelis by 22% to 12%.

Bubba’s Two Cents

The Israel-Gaza conflict highlights a broader battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Is the future going to be shaped by relatively moderate Dems whose views are more in line with the rest of the country? Or will elite progressives complete their takeover?

5. In Honor of D-Day

A new video from the School of War podcast by Aaron MacLean, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who previously served on active duty as a United States Marine for seven years, puts D-Day’s significance into context.

From MacLean on Twitter:

Some thoughts at School of War on what made D-Day succeed: excellence at every level, from the politicians who started leveraging the US economy for war 5 years earlier, to the strategic planners and operational commanders, to the brilliant, brave young men on the beaches.

This is absolutely worth a watch. You can check it out here.

Did you like an item in today’s edition? Do us a favor and forward it to a friend to help spread the word about Bubba News. Also, click here to subscribe today.