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So much for trickle down economics

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.



  1. So you’re claiming that Trickle Down doesn’t work? And that 1% has all the money. Okay.

    And what happened Sept 15, 2008? The markets fell, money stopped flowing and credit seized. Pretty much just a problem of that 1%, with all the money.

    When the rich stopped spending – what happened? How long did it take for the lack of their 1% cash to hit the other 99% of us?

    By my calculator, less than a couple weeks. If you were lucky, maybe just an entire quarter. How does Trickle Down not work, again? You’re going to have to show your work on that math.

    Monday, February 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Blasphemincapn, I thought that in “trickle down” economics giving money to the rich was supposed to “trickle down” so that it benefited everyone. But I like your new theory — may I call it “trickle down economic collapse”? It really would be a form of “voodoo economics” where you stick a rich person with a pin and several hundred thousand regular folks lose their jobs and their homes.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

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  1. GOP: Ideas from another planet? « msgruntled on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

    […] paid fell to a bit over 17%, a one-third drop in that time period. (Thanks to the trenchant blog Political Irony for these tidbits.) Until 1976, the richest 1% of Americans took home about 9% of the total […]