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Report Says That the Rich Are Getting Richer Faster, Much Faster

The increase in incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans from 2003 to 2005 exceeded the total income of the poorest 20 percent of Americans, data in a new report by the Congressional Budget Office shows. 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. The total income of the top 1.1 million households was $1.8 trillion, or 18.1 percent of the total income of all Americans, up from 14.3 percent of all income in 2003. The total 2005 income of the three million individual Americans at the top was roughly equal to that of the bottom 166 million Americans, analysis of the report showed. 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. Much of the increase at the top reflected the rebound of the stock market after its sharp drop in 2000, economists from across the political spectrum said. About half of the income going to the top 1 percent comes from investments and business. In addition, Congress in 2003 cut taxes on long-term capital gains and most dividends. Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute  in Washington who characterizes the Bush administration's policies as YOYO economics, based on You (Are) On Your Own, said the differences in income growth explained why so many Americans have told pollsters that they are feeling squeezed. "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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post Jan 7 2008, 11:31 AM

What is it going to take before we are out on the streets and taking back our democracy? Through privatiziation, money is being funneled to the top. We can't keep doubling and tripling the money we spend on 'defense,' in the war OF terror -- to private contractors, who back up the military now used to harass citizens. Clinton was free with defense contractor funding; Dubya doubled it and created the no-bid contracting process whereby his companies, and Cheneys, are getting rich even as they prolong needless, illegal, and immoral wars. But we Americans can't see past our paychecks to know what's going on with the government ... or can we?

As awful as his social views are, Huckabee stands to challenge the corporatist view, the fascism of Republicans. It's long past time for 'consumers' to become active citizens. Street's there, got my boots on, and I'm ready.

Anyone else watch the Pinky Show on YouTube? --diana