The richest one percent of Americans earned a postwar record of 21.2 percent of all income in 2005, up from 19 percent a year earlier, reflecting a widening income disparity among different classes in the nation, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing new Internal Revenue Service data.
The data showed that the fortunes of the bottom 50 percent of Americans are worsening, with that group earning 12.8 percent of all income in 2005, down from 13.4 percent the year before, the paper said.
The article cited an interview with President Bush, who attributed income inequality to "skills gaps" among various classes. It said the IRS didn't identify the source of rising income for the affluent, but said a boom on Wall Street has likely played a part.
And yet Congress can't even manage to pass a bill that would tax the earnings of the very wealthy private equity managers enjoying this boom as income, and we have Fred Thompson at the Republican debate declaring that the economy is "rosy." Reverse the ever-increasing gap in income inequality? Forget it. We can't even slow it down.