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‘Obscene’: Richest 1% Now Owns Third of U.S. Wealth

After a Congressional report on Tuesday revealed the wealthiest Americans now own more than one-third of the country’s wealth, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said the level of income and wealth inequality in the U.S. is “obscene.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reacted Wednesday to new government figures showing the wealthiest 1% of Americans now owns over one-third of the country’s wealth by reasserting calls for systemic reforms to tackle the highest economic inequality of any major developed nation in the world.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday published Trends in the Distribution of Family Wealth, 1989 to 2019, a report revealing that while the total real wealth of U.S. families tripled over those 30 years, the growth was dramatically unequal.

“Families in the top 10% and in the top 1% of the distribution, in particular, saw their share of total wealth rise over the period,” the report notes.

“In 2019, families in the top 10% of the distribution held 72% of total wealth, and families in the top 1% of the distribution held more than one-third; families in the bottom half of the distribution held only 2% of total wealth.”

In a statement, Sanders said that “this report confirms what we already know: The very rich are getting much, much richer while the middle class is falling further and further behind, and being forced to take on outrageous levels of debt.”

“The obscene level of income and wealth inequality in America is a profoundly moral issue that we cannot continue to ignore or sweep under the rug,” the two-time Democratic presidential candidate argued.