Earlier this week we ran a post highlighting the extent to which middle class America has been gutted by big government and Washington D.C.’s anti-competitive economic policies.

Missed that entry? Click HERE.

Now we’ve got fresh data highlighting just how bad things have gotten for those on the lower end of the economic totem pole.  According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the money spent by American households earning less than $30,000 has remained flat since 2008.  Meanwhile income for this group has actually dropped by one percent from 2004 to 2012.

And in case you’re wondering whether the phenomenon is ongoing, Walmart’s sales have been down in each of the last five quarters.

It’s not just the middle class getting drained, in other words … it’s the “upper lower” class, or the working poor.

Good jobs are scarce to nonexistent and part-time work with lousy benefits is all they’ve got to fall back on … and that’s hardly an appetizing prospect considering government will apparently pay you in perpetuity to sit on your ass.

Perhaps if some of the $1 trillion spent incentivizing that dependency – or the hundreds of billions spent on corporate welfare for the super rich – weren’t being sucked out of the economy each year?

Maybe then things would be better?

Look … the economy got good marks for the second quarter of 2014.  For now, anyway.  But as we noted, until that economic growth starts taking hold in the broader marketplace – which is driven by the purchases made by lower and middle class consumers – we should expect the weakest post-World War II recovery to remain just that, weak.