The Fruits of the Trickle Down Tree

Fresh analysis of household income growth from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms what most of us are already aware of, but gives it a solid numerical value.

The top 1 percent of earners in the United States saw their average household incomes grow a whopping 279 percent from 1979 to 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study (PDF) published this week.

For the lowest earners, what the CBO described as the poorest fifth of America, average incomes grew just 18 percent in that same period. The middle class — comprised of about three-fifths of Americans — saw incomes grow about 40 percent. [...]

All told, the gap between rich and poor in America more than tripled in just under 30 years, marching in line with government policies that have increasingly tended to rely on regressive taxes on the poor and working classes, and less on taxing the top earners.

Income for the top 1 percent has increased nearly 300% since 1980, which would give even the casual observer pause to ask the question -- where are the jobs?

If the 1 percent represent the sacred "Job Creators," and they're doing better now than they ever have, where are the jobs? What are they waiting for?

Taxes are the lowest they've been in 50 years. Profits are up. Half of congress is in their back pocket.

What else do they require before they start creating jobs?

This is the point where the notion that people only wish to "punish success" falls apart. No one wishes to institute punishment, they simply expect those who have benefited the most from society to return the favor.

  • mrbrink

    I was just talking about this earlier today, before these latest findings, with a good friend and neighbor in his safety net-70s who votes Republican based on the preservation of a Randolph Scott image of the presidency(“Romney guy”). And while we have this ongoing conversation all the time, once again explaining how the rich have run off with all the growth in national wealth and left the rest of the country in economic flat line, I was failing to connect and persuade, so I began to use my hands as simple graph lines to demonstrate in easy-to-understand terms. I accurately depicted the upward trajectory of shocking wealth capture vs. the stagnancy of lower percentiles.

    The middle finger worked perfectly.

    GOP economics is easy to explain.

    • bphoon

      It’s all based on the I-Got-Mine-So-Fuck-Everyone-Else philosophy of economics.

  • trgahan

    And a side affect of this 30 year windfall is the wealthy, the elected government representives, and the media personalities becoming more and more detached and isolated from the reality of the majority of Americas. All leading to nightly TV beratings about how those not as “smart” and “hardworking” as they are demanding something for nothing and not understanding why “they are so mad.”

  • holyreality

    Well, don’t blame Wall Street, blame yourself.

    If you hang around waiting for someone to give you wealth taken from a producer you will never become part of the 1%.

    Hard work in a freemarket with minimal government regulating will let us all have a shot at easy street.

    Or so go my redneck buddies who still think they have a chance at becoming rich.

    But don’t go listing facts, and posting graphs, that resembles talking like a fag.

    • The best part is, the “just work hard and don’t expect a handout” rednecks are ALWAYS the people that play the lottery.

  • Only bullshit rolls downhill. Everything else…

    So much for trickle down economics.

  • BadSaratoga

    “If the 1 percent represent the sacred “Job Creators,” and they’re doing better now than they ever have, where are the jobs? What are they waiting for?”

    I get it now. The “job Creators” were really just creating jobs for themselves and their cronies.

    How could I have missed this?