PolitiFact Wisconsin: Fastest shrinking middle class?

Posted at 6:55 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 19:55:42-05

Attention middle class voters - this one is for you. PolitiFact Wisconsin checking a claim that hits home for many in Wisconsin.

It comes as more and more Democrats line up to challenge Gov. Scott Walker.

Nearly half the households in Wisconsin can be described as middle class.

It's an important block of voters for any candidate, including Democratic candidate Mahlon Mitchell.

"While criticizing Governor Walker, Mahlon Mitchell said that Wisconsin has the fastest shrinking middle class in the country," said Tom Kertscher.

PolitiFact Wisconsin checked the middle-class income numbers sighted in a 2015 Pew Charitable Report, a nonpartisan research organization.

"If you look a household income, Mitchell sighted a report that goes to 2000," said Kertscher, "and since then Wisconsin has the fastest shrinking middle class compared to other states.

But hold on, Walker was not the governor in 2000. He's been in office since 2011.

So Politifact Wisconsin updated the household income numbers to check Mitchell's claim.

"His criticism was about Governor Walker and if you look at Governor Walker's term, Wisconsin ranks 15th not first," said Kertscher

A couple of other key points from PolitiFact Wisconsin: During both periods, most Wisconsin households that left the middle class went to the higher income bracket, rather than dropping down out of the middle class.

But when adjusting for inflation, the median household income in Wisconsin, where half of households earn more and half earn less, was lower in 2016 than it was in 2000.

Politifact Wisconsin rated this claim Mostly False.