Wealth and Politics: A History

November 21st, 2011 by Rick Drain

This is not simply a partisan slap, it is history.  How did we get to the current US government stalemate and social turmoil?

“The staggering economic inequality that has led Americans across the country to take to the streets in protest is no accident.  It has been fueled to a large extent by the GOP’s all-out war on behalf of the rich.  Since Republicans rededicated themselves to slashing taxes for the wealthy in 1997, the average annual income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled, to $345 million – while their share of the tax burden has plunged by 40 percent.  Today, a billionaire in the top 400 pays less than 17 percent of his income in taxes – five percentage points less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year.  “Most Americans got none of the growth of the preceding dozen years,” says Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. “  All the gains went to the top percentage points.” “

How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich

The inside story of how the Republicans abandoned the poor and the middle class to pursue their relentless agenda of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent

by Tim Dickinson
The 400 Richest:  Income and Taxes