Wealth Redistribution Under Bush And Obama

Sure, Bush made the rich richer.

But Obama has actually redistributed wealth from the middle class to the very richest more than Bush.

Specifically, income inequality has increased more under Obama than under Bush.

Indeed, inequality in America today is worse than it was in Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, twice as bad as in ancient Rome  – which was built on slave labor – and worse than that experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.

A new study shows that the richest Americans captured more than 100% of all recent income gains.  As Huffington Post notes:


the top 1 percent of households by income captured 121 percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2011, during the first two years of the economic recovery, according to new research by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. (Saez is a renowned income inequality expertand winner of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, an award that the American Economic Association gives every year to the top economist under age 40.)

How was the top 1 percent able to capture more than all of the recovery’s income gains? They became 11.2 percent richer while the bottom 99 percent got 0.4 percent poorer, when accounting for inflation, according to Saez.

Saez released the updated figures in late January after finding last year that the top 1 percent had captured 93 percent of all income gains in 2010, the first full year of the economic recovery.

Overall, between 1993 and 2011, the top 1 percent’s incomes surged 57.5 percent, while the incomes of the bottom 99 percent grew just 5.8 percent, according to Saez.

One of the reasons why the super-rich are becoming much richer and everyone else poorer is that Obama is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than Bush, or his father or Ronald Reagan.

And by pointing out that inequality is skyrocketing, we’re not calling for a redistribution of wealth downward.  We’re calling for an end to policies which allow wealth to be concentrated in a few hands.

Without the government’s creation of the too big to fail banks (they’ve gotten much bigger under Obama), the Fed’s intervention in interest rates and the markets (most of the quantitative easing has occurred under Obama), and government-created moral hazard emboldening casino-style speculation (there’s now more moral hazard than ever before) … things wouldn’t have gotten nearly as bad.

Indeed, crony capitalism has gotten even worse under Obama…




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