Income Inequality Growing

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A nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) study on income inequality reaffirmed the growing sense that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

“The poorest 20% of tax filers experienced a 6% reduction in income while the top 0.1% of tax filers saw their income almost double,” according the the CRS report, available in its entirety at http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/crs-1.pdf

On a per per-person basis, the economy grew at about 25 percent but low-income families lost ground, middle-incomes grew at less than half the pace as the overall average, and the top soared ahead.

Income just about doubled for those at the very top of the income scale — the top tenth of the top one percent, whose average 2006 income was $5.7 million.

Furthermore, while 82 percent of income received by about 80 percent of the people comes from work in the form of wages and salaries, people in the top tenth of one percent (0.1%) work for only 18.6 percent of their annual income.

Income disparity is a symptom of the growing crisis of inequality as American democracy is threatened by growing control of government by wealth and expended corporate power.

The federal individual income tax is a graduated with progressively higher rates for each successive bracket (ranging from 10% to 35% in 2006), which was designed to reduce income inequality.

The CRS report shows that tax cuts advanced in Congress, particularly during the Reagan and Bush administrations, have defeated this intent.


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