According to new IRS data, during the first six years of the Bush presidency, the 400 richest Americans saw their average income double. At the same time, the average tax rate that they paid fell by a third, to 17.2%, the lowest rate since the IRS started tracking this data. Yes, that’s right, if you are a normal middle-class employee who works for a living, you almost certainly paid a larger share of your income in taxes than the 400 richest Americans. And I’d bet you didn’t see your income double during the Bush presidency.
Now, didn’t Reaganomics claim that by cutting taxes for the rich, everyone would benefit? Considering the current (and worsening) state of the economy, isn’t it amazing that Republicans in Congress are opposing Obama’s stimulus package because they want even more tax cuts? Tax rates for the rich are already at their lowest point on record, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for some people.
UPDATE: Robert Reich (Clinton’s Secretary of Labor) points out that up until 1976, the richest 1 percent of the country took home around 9 percent of the total national income, but by 2006 they were pocketing more than 20 percent. Interestingly, and not coincidentally, the last time the top 1 percent took home more than 20 percent of the nation’s income was 1928 (the Great Depression started in 1929).
UPDATE 2: I’m trying to track down a better source for this, but if true, this really makes me shake my head in disbelief. The Latin American Herald Tribune reports that General Motors is going to invest $1 billion of the bailout money they received from the US government (to save US jobs), in … Brazil.