The Response on Obama and Redistribution that Reveals Too Much

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 12:22 pm

Trying to deflect from Mitt Romney’s comments on those dastardly parasites who make up 47% of America, conservatives have trotted out an “exclusive” secret tape from 1998 with then State Senator Barack Obama making utterly banal mainstream Democratic comments about redistribution: And my suggestion, I guess, would be that the trick—and this is one of [...]

Middle Class Suffering Through “Lost Decade,” Study Shows

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 10:57 am

The great middle class, the group lauded in campaign ads by every politician in the country, is wasting away according to a Pew study. Using the broadest possible figures (between 67% and 200% of the national median income), the study shows that the middle class has declined to a bare majority of the population. Furthermore, [...]

How Marginal Tax Rates Play a Big Role in Income Inequality

By: Wednesday July 11, 2012 9:35 am

I had the opportunity to see Tim Noah speak last night about his new book The Great Divergence. It’s a book-length version of his Slate series on the rise of income inequality since 1979, and I’m not sure that there’s a whole lot different in the book, other than it’s in print rather than on [...]

Buffett Rule Can Be Traversed by Tax Planning, Just Like Any Part of Our Swiss Cheese Tax Code

By: Friday April 13, 2012 10:15 am

I don’t have a huge problem with the Buffett rule, which will get a vote in the Senate and fail on Monday. But I do have a problem with the concept of a minimum tax based on adjusted gross income as a killer app in tax policy, rather than just raising rates and closing loopholes. [...]

Inequality Accelerates in the Post-Great Recession Recovery

By: Wednesday April 11, 2012 1:39 pm

If the Occupy movement has one primary concern, I’m guessing it would be that the expansion of income inequality has had a massive amount of negative consequences for the country. It has created a near-permanent underclass and robbed them of their voice in the political sphere. The overclass, meanwhile, the 1%, has an inordinate amount [...]

The Actual Problem With Income and Debt Has Nothing to Do With Wall Street

By: Wednesday February 29, 2012 8:55 am

I’m supposed to feel sorry for the banker who might have to pull his kids out of private school: Schiff, 46, is facing another kind of jam this year: Paid a lower bonus, he said the $350,000 he earns, enough to put him in the country’s top 1 percent by income, doesn’t cover his family’s [...]

Obama Administration Would Tax Dividends at Same Rate as Top Earnings

By: Monday February 13, 2012 8:59 am

I’m loath to dive into the numbers of the Administration’s FY 2013 budget, because it won’t be used as anyone’s baseline, and to the extent that it will, that was baked into the cake by the debt limit deal. If you want the hard numbers, the surprisingly best source I’ve found comes from the Guardian. [...]

Myth of American Upward Mobility Punctured

By: Thursday January 5, 2012 1:06 pm

We’ve been talking about income inequality lately, and tied into that is the idea of upward mobility. The United States, in the myths of cock-eyed optimists everywhere, remains the land of opportunity, where everyone can get a fair shot at greatness. But that America hasn’t existed for a while. In fact, as Jason DeParle reports, [...]

Income Inequality Driven By Slashes to Capital Gains Tax Rate

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 1:40 pm

The Congressional Research Service declined a vacation in favor of whipping up a report on the major causes of inequality, which Jared Bernstein summarizes here. The report does find that income inequality is in part a function of the Bush tax cuts, and I’m unsure how it accounts for the higher salaries granted to executives [...]

Doug Schoen Misrepresented Own Data to Marginalize OWS

By: Tuesday October 18, 2011 2:48 pm

Looks like I gave Doug Schoen way too much credit in criticizing him about his poll of Occupy Wall Street. His MO was to marginalize the protest movement in familiar terms, as a “radical” left-wing group supporting some amalgam of godless communism and hippie free love-ism for America. All of the actual policies that his [...]

Two Studies On Economic Growth, Income Inequality and Deficits Tell the Whole Story

By: Thursday October 6, 2011 8:15 am

Today sees the rise of two key studies that reveal some fundamental truths about how an economy works, which are best looked at together. First, the CBO studied the question of how full employment would reduce the deficit. “Full employment” is defined here as a projection of what would happen if there wasn’t an “underutilization [...]

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