Saturday, December 15, 2007

America's Richest Getting Oh So Much Richer!

The Congressional Budget Office reports that the top 1% of Americans saw their incomes increased by more than the total income of the bottom 20% of American wage earners last year. In fact it was a lot more. From the New York Times:

"The poorest fifth of households had total income of $383.4 billion in 2005, while just the increase in income for the top 1 percent came to $524.8 billion, a figure 37 percent higher.

Earlier reports, based on tax returns, showed that in 2005 the top 10 percent, top 1 percent and fractions of the top 1 percent enjoyed their greatest share of income since 1928 and 1929.

Asked how much of the increase at the top was from the tax cuts rather than market gains, Peter R. Orszag, the budget office director, said, “I can’t give you an answer to that because we just don’t know.”

“A lot of people justifiably feel they are working harder and smarter, they are baking a bigger and better pie, and yet their slice is not growing much at all,” said [Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington]. “It is meaningless to middle- and low-income families to say we have a great economy because their economy looks so much different than folks at the top of the scale because this is an economy that is working, but not working for everyone.”

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