The One Chart That Explains Democrats’ Loss

The elections are over. The pundits will spend the next few months dissecting the candidates and the campaigns. The Republican Party ran a strong campaign with attractive candidates, while the Democrats did neither. Voter turnout was low, which often gives an advantage to Republicans.

Then there is the economy.

The Democrats seem to have forgotten about that. We didn’t hear much about the slow but steady improvement during the past six years. President Barack Obama and the Democrats could have pointed to a number of economic accomplishments: Unemployment has declined to less than 6 percent; the economy grew at a 3.5 percent rate in the latest quarter; gasoline is less than $3 a gallon; the annual federal budget deficit has been cut in half.

None of that got much airplay. There is an argument to be made that it wouldn’t have mattered much anyway. A reader sent in the following chart. It shows the ratio between income and liability for households.

It is heading in the wrong way. The data show that median income relative to debt is falling. In other words, people are falling further behind.

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