According to the Census Bureau this week, real median household income in the United States fell to $50,054 in 2011.
That number is down 1.5 percent from the previous year and, when adjusted for inflation, is at a 17-year low.
It's about 9 percent lower from its 1999 peak, the Census Bureau said in a new report.
The downward income trend is another unpleasant reminder of just how difficult it's been for middle class Americans in recent years, particularly since the start of the Great Recession.
Enter Mitt Romney, who's wooing middle class voters by arguing that his economic policies are best for the US economy.
Romney tried to make that case again this morning on ABC's Good Morning America program.
It didn't quite work out that way, at least in his attempt to make middle class voters believe that he understands their problems.
See this exchange with host George Stephanopolous, as reported by Gawker.
"No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos. "Is $100,000 middle income?" Stephanopoulos asked. "No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less," Romney responded.
Romney's campaign quickly pointed out that their candidate meant middle income for households, not people.
But, even so, that household number is four to five times larger than what the Census Bureau reported this week.