Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bush Exploited the Common People to Make the Rich Richer

As the Global Sociology blog notes, "stratification happens when the tax regime favors the transfer of wealth to the top". After years of growing income disparity between the rich and the rest of America, surely the federal government wouldn't exacerbate the problem would it? Well if it was the Bush administration, the answer is "yes".

The tax cuts sponsored by President George W. Bush lapse at the end of next year. Those cuts will have saved individuals, and cost the government, $2.34 trillion, according to The New York Times. Unfortunately, not every individual benefitted equally.

As the table above shows, a full 61.6% of the Bush tax cuts went to the top 20% of wage earners! Only 1.3% went to the bottom 20% of wage earners, and only 7.6% went to the next 20%. If you were in the middle quintile of US wage earners, you received about 11.8%, or about half of your "fair share".

This was income redistribution at its worst. The rich were in power, and their greed knew no limits. No wonder so many Americans have felt for years that their country is in danger of becoming another banana republic, because under Bush it sure looked like this country was dominated by an oligarchy of inherited wealth.

No, the right wing cannot justify the cuts as economic stimulus. Economic progress was stalled for years under Bush, and the majority of Americans are worse off than they were at the start of the decade. As the facts show, the tax cuts were nothing more than a scheme to transfer wealth to the rich, pure and simple.

Not only were benefits distributed unfairly through society, but reduced taxes mean reduced Federal tax revenues. You and I and everyone else in American with an income (if they are lucky enough to have one) is still paying off that deficit with our taxes now.

Fortunately, Bush's unfair tax cuts are lapsing now, but more will be needed to reverse the trend toward greater social stratification in America. Let's hope that America can get back on the path to social justice and economic growth for everybody.