24 June 2004

Are you better off?

From The American Street:

For the past 24 years, a new conservative ideal has been driving policy, concluding with massive tax cuts the President would like to make permanent. Now the median family pays over 25% of its income in taxes (income and FICA)--about the same as the top 1%. At the beginning of the Reagan era, the median family had roughly $32,000 in after tax income when adjusted for inflation. Now they have...roughly $32,000. In order to earn that same amount of money, families are now working 200 hours more a year (5 weeks). And on the other side of the ledger, they are now in far deeper debt.

The wealthy have prospered. Their taxes are far lower now than they were a generation ago and their incomes are up. While median families saw their incomes stagnate, the top 20% saw their own after-tax incomes rise from $74,000 to $102,300 (adjusted for inflation). Corporations have also received gentle treatment, with tax rates below 10%--almost half what they were in 1970.

Jeff Alworth compares the differences between progressive and conservative periods in the last century. Guess what, we've done better during progressive times than conservative. Well, except for the rich.

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