About a year ago, the Maddow Blog posted a chart made by one of its readers. Having seen a chart in Slate that showed income growth by percentile under Democratic and Republican administrations, the reader proceeded to create a chart that showed how incomes grew based not just on which party occupied the White House but also which party controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate.
This is that chart:
It will come as no surprise to readers here that, since 1947, income growth has been better under Democratic presidencies than under Republican presidencies. But looking at this chart reveals an interesting added dimension: While total Republican control of Congress and the presidency is very bad for the incomes of struggling Americans, the single worst thing for the incomes of struggling Americans is, plain and simple, Republican control of the House, regardless of who controls the Senate or occupies the White House.
Over the past couple of months, we have gotten a firsthand glimpse into why, which I believe can be boiled down to two reasons:
1. The House essentially controls the purse strings, since all budget bills must originate there. Thus, if the House doesn't want a new and helpful government program created, it doesn't happen.
2. As the chamber of Congress in which new legislators typically get their start, the House is much more likely to contain a large number of clueless wackos.