Obama’s Claim about the Income of the Top 1% Compared to Typical Families Confirmed True

obama-gesturesWhile speaking about the economy Wednesday, President Obama made a claim that apparently sent some people into a frenzy.

During his speech he said the following:

“The income of the top 1 percent nearly quadrupled from 1979 to 2007, but the typical family’s incomes barely budged.”

Which prompted the fact checking website Politifact to investigate his claim—and they found his statement to be true.

So much for Trickle-Down economics, huh?  But then again, I’ve argued that Trickle-Down economics has been one of the largest cons this nation has ever seen.

It’s an economic theory that states the more we give rich people, the more we’ll benefit.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a genius scam, but make no mistake about it—it is a scam.

As Politifact found in their investigation, the White House cites a study done in 2011 by the non-partisan CBO which showed that incomes for the top 1% of Americans rose 275% (just about 10% per year) between 1979-2007.  By contrast, the incomes for the middle 60% of Americans during that same time only rose by 40% (or about 1.4% per year).

And let’s not forget the wealth for the top 1% grew at its fastest pace in United States history in the few years just before the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, demand creates jobs—not tax breaks.  Trickle-Down economics is a con perpetuated by the rich that has convinced millions of middle class and low-income Americans that somehow they will become rich by giving rich people more money.

It’s asinine.

Republicans will campaign on cutting programs that help keep our water clean, air breathable, food safe, roads in good condition, the poor fed and citizens educated—but will threaten to default on our credit or shut down our government to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest among us.

And while the rich keep getting richer, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” widens more and more every single year.

Then while Republicans like to talk about “traditional American values,” our Constitution and the United States being the “greatest country on earth”—I’ll tell you one simple fact:

You don’t find economic prosperity by supporting policies which will continue to rapidly widen the income inequality gap between the wealthiest 1% of your citizens and the other 99%.  Especially while simultaneously supporting other policies which seek to eliminate programs that benefit the vast majority of Americans.

That’s how you move a nation toward another revolution.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • anonymous

    top link is broken, missing colon after http

  • Howard Matthews

    Why don’t we change this page name from Foward Progressives to Statements of the bleeding obvious….really I have not read one thing in here that isn’t recycled sentiment from the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc,etc,

    I want a page that talks about what to DO about these issues….know of any?

    • Amy Moon River

      History repeats itself. Let’s take on the tax policies of the 1930’s, which helped to get the country out of the Great Depression, where the top tax rate was 92%, cut out tax loopholes that allow people to store their money in tax havens overseas, tax capital gains at the same rate as working income, and have investment in this country instead of others.

    • James

      There is one way to improve the situation, it’s called “vote the bastards out!” It’s funny how hard that is to do when there is so much screwed up shit going on in this country. The fix is in! The Taliban, oh I mean the GOP controls the voting booth!


        And yet the system in all its beauty, planned for us by people who knew what kind of danger state religions and dictators and kings pose to people, is still there. It gives us all the power we need if we would take it. The percentage of voting is pathetic. We have to vote and vote with intention and we have to see to it that everyone is gotten an ID and a way to the polls. For the ignorant who’ve been brainwashed by the Kochs to do nothing but bitch cause “who cares they are all the same” they have to be educated and woken up. We have the power. We don’t use it as designed.

      • guest


  • Bobee Padilla

    Support small or independent business. Don’t feed the Walton’s, Kochs or other corporatists that are eroding our middle class. We take the power away from the powerful when we spend our money in our own communities and make a conscious decision on where to put that dollar. Our buying decisions can no longer be solely based on the lowest price but how the company fits into our world and communities. Only when we all start stand together conservative and progressive and vote with our money will real change come.

    • peegeejr

      No ……… TAX them at a rate to return paved roads, free fire responders, roads, hospitals and EDUCATION since they want this over educated workforce then let their taxes pay for free education for the nation they reside in for everyone in America all the things that made people want to come here for except cheap labor and sweatshops. The also need to be fined and have to pay BACK all that money they hid in tax shelters that is OUR money.

      • Michelle Rhoades

        And penalize them for sending jobs overseas. We need to make it more cost effective to pay decent wages and benefits than it is to pay transoceanic shipping costs.

      • LMB

        We need to do ALL of it. Stop shopping at their stores/buying their products, raise their taxes and fine them for shipping jobs out and/or increase the import tax. I CAN’T shop at Wal-Mart or eat Chick-fi-la. Just the thought of my money going to them makes me feel sick. Buying Apple products makes products too, won’t do it. We don’t make a ton of money, but I can find deals and use coupons to shop and buy products from local, more moral companies. I can’t be perfect at it, but at least I’m trying.

      • Baaly

        With you there LMB.

      • feralman

        But you can shop locally, and at companies like Costco.

      • We also need to make it more cost effective to pay workers instead of politicians.

    • Gary

      Thank You For Saying This Bobee Padilla. Being A Small Business, We Are In The Tenches Everyday With Those Who Are In The Same Shoes. We StrivE Harder, Make It A Point To Remember ALL Of CuStomers (Even By Name For Most). Do We Fall Short At Times….Absolutely. But Hopefully This Is Few And Far Between. We Are Truly Very Appreciative Of Every Cent SPent In Our Store, And Grateful For Each Of ThE Faces That Come Through Our Doors.

    • Mikey K

      That is fine when you have money to spend. The number of poor are growing and they have no choice as a matter of survival. I think we need to bring the Tax structure back to the days prior to Reagan. This will force the companies to put the profits back into the companies. This is how jobs are created and then we can all have the luxury of choosing.

  • JMesserly

    The link to politifact is broken and needs a colon after http

  • Sunwyn Ravenwood

    What to do about the obvious? Bloody revolution comes to mind. The corporations own all the politicians, which makes it impossible to do anything thru legal means. The rich fund the campaigns of the politicians, they get the votes of the stupid, and the politicians vote in billions of dollars for corporate welfare and cut food stamps for poor people. I suggest building guillotines and erecting them in prominent places.

    It was the fear of a communist insurrection that prompted the passage of the anti-trust laws100 years ago and without putting fear into the hearts of today’s politicians nothing will be done.

    What needs to be done? First, a constitutional amendment to overturn “citizens united”, then laws to prohibit all corporate donations to politicians or PACs (require that 100% of all shareholders vote yes for on each donation), then ban al Congressmen from accepting cushy jobs from industry for 5 years after they leave office.

    Then break up all the multi-national corporations like they did Standard Oil. Make there be a separate company for each state or country in which a corporation does business. Make each company place its headquarters and pay its taxes in the state where it is chartered, no more “Delaware” corporations or “Liberian registry” ships.

    It used to be the case that if a corporation was deemed to be “not in the public interest” then the state where it was chartered could order the company dissolved, the assets sold, and the money distributed among the shareholders. We heed to bring back those laws and practices.

    On the other hand, the guillotines are quicker.

    • Michael Varian Daly

      The so-called American Left has disarmed itself and is hellbent on disarming everyone else.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Uh, right…back under the rock like a good boy.

      • Michael Varian Daly

        How about I shove a rock up your ass?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Go ahead and try, troll. You just proved my point.

      • Michael Varian Daly

        You had no point. Just snark. And yeah, tough talk. lol

      • Michael Varian Daly

        Honestly, snark is all you have. Like so many on both the Left and the Right here in the ruins of The Republic, The Corporate State has herded you into your own little ideologically framed Free Speech Zone.

        When I point out to someone advocating Revolutionary Action that The Left is disarmed, your only response is a factless insult. That shows your political impotence.

        Your empty ‘Go ahead and try, troll’ proves *that* point.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Ya know, for someone who claims to be on the Left, you sho’ nuff talk like someone on the Right.

      • Michael Varian Daly

        I support Reproductive Rights, Marriage Equality, Basic Income Grants, Immigration Amnesty, the end of The Drug Wars, a return of Eisenhower era tax rates, the dismantling of DHS, the dismantling of America’s Empire of Bases, the prosecution of the principle players of the Bush Administration [and a few from this one] for Crimes Against Humanity…I could go on.

        But because I strongly support Gun Rights I’m somehow a ‘right winger’. I’d suggest you take a good look to your own prejudices.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Your first mistake is assuming the Left wants to take away your guns. That sounds like someone on the right. The second amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free
        state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” We’re missing the “well-regulated” part. Making you register a gun or proving you are not a psychopath in order to get a gun isn’t infringing on the “right…to keep and bear arms.” Unless, of course, you think psychopaths should be able to own guns, or people should be able to buy guns and give them to psychopaths.

      • fuckyou

        I want to take away his guns. He is clearly a lunatic.

      • Wayne

        What the hell does that have to do with this. Stay under that rock

      • Michael Varian Daly

        Read the comment I comment I commented upon. They advocate revolution. So how does one do such when disarmed?

      • kantexmama

        We’re hardly disarmed. That’s right-wing propaganda. There’s at least one weapon for every man, woman, and child in the USA~ 300,000,000+. There have been successful revolutions with a tiny fraction of that many weapons
        If the will is there, we have the guns to do it with.

      • Michael Varian Daly

        The Left is most certainly disarmed, both in fact and psychologically. The majority of those guns are in the hands of Right Wing lunatics who keep moving further and further into Bat Country.

      • debihut

        I’m in that “left” category because I am a Democrat, however, you’re wrong to lump all lefties in with the no arms bunch. I have a personal conceal and carry permit and I always carry. My family is full of gun enthusiasts. Hunting and competitive. So your stereo type is just wrong!

      • Michael Varian Daly

        I too am ‘left’ [whatever *that* is these days] and have guns. But the political landscape clearly shows that we are a minority. Not only are most of those on the Left not gun owners, they openly evince a horror of firearms and happily support laws like LA’s magazine ban, which criminalized thousands of law abiding gun owners with the stroke of a pen.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No, we are not a minority; however, do you REALLY think you could take on the US government and win? Or the plutocracy? You’d need the wackos on the right to fight along side of you and they aren’t about to cooperate with anyone remotely leftist.

      • Michael Varian Daly

        The Armed Citizen does not need to start a revolution. His/her existence as a substantial group across the political spectrum would cause the govt to fear its citizens and therefore respect them.

        If the American Left truly embraced Gun Rights and the concept of The Armed Citizen you would surprised at how many on the Right would extend their hands.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        The left isn’t against gun rights. It’s against a wild-west mentality that lets wackos possess guns. It should be harder to get a gun than it should be to vote. But the right wants it the other way around.

      • Guest

        Why are guns our priority? Many on the left have guns. Really, we do. Guns aren’t the issue — don’t let the corporatrocities off the hook. We agree, left and right on one thing, I think. The right are getting richer, the few are strangling the many and the country is devolving into “us” vs. “them” among its citizens, instead of ALL OF US vs. those who are destroying us — the very, very few, the transnationals without a country whose corporations were founded here, but who aren’t “American” in any sense of the word — please, don’t let them guide the conversation — as long as we are bitterly divided they will always win. God, Gays, Guns, Race, are distractions — let’s all keep our eye on the ball!

      • moclips

        Please, guns are NOT the issue. Many on the left own guns and cherish gun “rights”. We are letting the few, the privileged and the powerful distract us from the things we can agree on. Left and right we agree that the transnational corporatrocities are destroying the country; they may have been created here, but are no more “American” than koala bears. They are transnational entities, some the size of small countries. As long as left and right keep sniping at each other over social issues, they win. As long as they can distract us with non-issues, they win. As long as they can make us believe that the government is the enemy, they win. Jobs. Banking Law. Fair wages. Secure Retirement. Affordable Health Care. These are issues — these are places where many ideas can come together to find solutions — when we fight bitterly about non-issues, we fail to speak with one voice, and we slowly destroy ourselves. Left, right center; Tea Party, Progressive, Democrat, Republican, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Islam, we are ONE. We are Americans and I will fight to my dying breath that we can all speak — but let us listen with respect — and identify the REAL enemy — and it is NOT your fellow American!

  • Mike

    This article is BS – the top 1% did it because they earned it – nothing was given to them. Excuses excuses – get up , get out, and go do something vs. writing piss poor cry baby articles about this. The 1% also probly pay 10 times as much in taxes in terms of total dollars…

    • Fritz

      Nothing was given to them? Really? The top 1% suddenly got smarter and worked harder than everyone else? It had nothing to do with tax policy? Wow. I didn’t know that.

      • Mike

        So are you saying that people get wealthier because of tax codes and not working hard, figuring things out, and progressing in whatever it is they do? Interesting…

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        People get filthy stinking rich off the backs of the people who work for them. Bill Gates did not create Microsoft by himself. He had an army of programmers who contributed to the cause.

        There are only a very few destined to be in the top 1%, or 0.01%. You and I aren’t them.

      • Mike

        I’m guessing it isn’t even 1% – call it 5 or 10% – but think about what Bill Gates created for the world and how many incomes/wealth have derived from it? Would you rather go back in time, kill Bill Gates, and never have Microsoft? I’m willing to bet key employees and leadership have made a ton of money via that man. The income tax laws are what they are – but who are we to now say “Hey you guy that worked to start your own little business – you pay more because we didn’t want to either buck up and take the risk or work as hard”. That isn’t freedom?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No, I’d just stop idolizing people like Gates at the expense of those lower on the food chain that make such success possible. You made my point: “…key employees and leadership…” The rich often assume the drones deserve minimum wage and zero respect.

        I see no problem with a progressive tax system. Obviously, you do. It has less to do with hard work and more to do with luck, privilege, native intelligence, foresight and other things that are not distributed equally. We do not all have the same opportunity. I’ll never play forward for the Bulls.

        And you are free to take your next great idea to another country that doesn’t tax you. Good luck finding one. Otherwise, suck it up. You pay for the privilege of living here. Your idea of freedom is “I got mine, screw you.”

      • hellbetty

        That was a simple and ignorant comment.The one thing Noone realises is that there are those that maybe make more money ,but only a few dollars more than the person who was lucky enough to stay in the lower tax bracket and keep more of the money they worked for. Those are the people really getting screwed.
        And if you would like to be in that percentage,cause I know someone is gonna say,it must be nice to have that problem,go get hour CDL,and work over the road,they need drivers. You too can make decent money,if you don’t mind being on the road for a week at a time ,and driving 10&1/2 hrs a day. The jobs are out there in trucking at least. Quit bitching on here and go search for driving schools. And yes you may have to beta loan,but you’ll be in that percentage with the haves,if you get in with a good company.

    • Todd

      Mike Said “The 1% also probly pay 10 times as much in taxes in terms of total dollars…”

      I love seeing this argument. They pay more in TOTAL DOLLARS. Well no crap geniuses, that is how percentages of numbers work. 25% of $40,000 = $10,000. 25% of $400,000 = $100,000. The problem isn’t the total dollars they pay, that will always be more (kind of a math thing). It’s when they only pay 15% to my 25% that IS the problem, they pay a lesser percentage, even though it’s still more total dollars (15% of $400,000 = $60,000). It’s the PERCENTAGE AMOUNT that is not fair, not the total dollars.

      • Tiare


      • Mike

        The argument can go both ways in terms of dollars and percentages, but you can’t cash percentages. $60k is still 6 times more. When you apply that on a bigger scale, its a hell of a lot more. If that tables turned and you were the $400k guy, I’m sure your tune would change. But we could argue this point till were blue in the face. The problem is that If I were the $400k I would much rather have my money in my possession, and give it to Susan Komen or something or even save for the future as I may not be making $400k for the rest of my life versus giving it the government for the next Obama celebrity party. This is America and everyone should have the freedom to make as much as they want and save or spend how they want.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I maxed out at $200K one year. I didn’t resent paying more in federal taxes than 60% of the population makes in a year. I was grateful to have that kind of income.

      • Todd

        Kudos to you suburban, that must have been an awesome year! I would be just as grateful.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yes, it was. I don’t make nearly as much now but I’m still grateful for what I have.

      • Todd

        No, the argument actually can’t go both ways. Taxes are a percentage of your income. $60k is 6 times more, but it should be $100k so that the RATE (underscore, emphasis, point, point) is the same. If middle to low income people are paying 18, 22 or 25%, why should the rich pay a lesser percentage? If I was the 400k guy, my tune would be the same. I’d still realize that 25% is what I pay in taxes, then I’d thank the powers that be of my good fortune of keeping $300,000 (or since you are stuck on total dollars, keeping 10 times the amount of what the $40k guy keeps). I would jump for joy at getting a $100,000 or even a $1 million dollar tax bill, because I got to keep SO MUCH MORE. And you are correct, this is America, where we have always had a progressive tax rate, and despite that, we still have the most millionaires out of any country. If you’re that $400k guy and are upset that 25% = $100k, being this is America, you are also free to give up that job for a $40k income job, that way you only pay $10k in taxes.

      • Mike

        Higher income earners pay higher taxes because they make more, its that simple. Especially in the progressive tax system, it kicks in higher % as the dollars go up. What would you say if the $400k guy paid $140k in taxes? I’m not saying the government should lower higher income earners taxes – I just don’t agree that people should ask for more when what they pay is already very healthy. We also have a lifetime to live, not just one year. So if someone makes more, it also means they may want to save more – who knows, they may lose their job down the road. It would have been nice to have that money for a later date. Are you going to come back and give them money now that aren’t even making $75k? I live by this saying “It important to focus on your bowl of ice cream, because it you sit there and worry about someone else’s yours will melt and you won’t enjoy it”.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Anytime someone tells me, “The rich pay most of the taxes,” I tell them, “They should. They have most of the money.”

    • peegeejr

      What ROCK did you crawl from up under do you even listen to real news not that Fox news crap that’s the 1% controlled information system dohhh.


      Oh, you poor little sheep. You would rather believe the Koch brothers than a genuine study. Do you enjoy being a pawn? Put down the dark glasses and see the light. When will it be enough for you to see? They are hauling citizens out of their own statehouses in handcuffs, ministers, elderly people, veterans. They are shouting people down when they try to talk, telling the people who elected them to shut up. They are rigging elections, thats cheating, they are faking the time when it runs out, thats lying, they are raking in money that belongs to working people, taking it from their pensions, their overtime, their benefits and their quality of life. Cheating, lying, stealing. Were you raised to think thats ok? I wasn’t. Dishonesty is wrong. Its wrong even when it means you win. All of us who have blue pages and everyone out there on the front lines in this war and it is nothing less than a war for the soul of this country, all of us will dedicate ourselves to exposing them everyday until people wake up. There is no’one so blind as she who will not see. Wake up, get in the fight, stop being a pawn of people who have never worked a day in their life who got their money from their rich parents and werent taught to put something back in their country.

    • William Carr

      Moron. You think Mitt Romney EARNED his money?

      He was BORN Rich. Then he started a company that borrows money from Banks and takes over existing companies using THAT company as collateral for the loan !

      That’s like my getting a car loan based on the value of your car, and then using the money to steal it !

      As far as your ditzy argument about the 1% paying more in dollars… who the hell cares ?

      They pay 12% compared to your 25% ! The Tax Code merely says that they pay more in taxes on the one millionth dollar they earn than the first dollar… and you think that’s unfair ?

      • Mike

        How is this about Mitt Romney dumbass? What if I was talking about John Schnatter? Clearly you have no financial acumen to understand how a waterfall series works. At any rate, everything isn’t what the media tells you – I know someone that made around $1 million and paid about $300k in taxes so that is roughly 30% (and a lot of money). I don’t even think that 1% part is true, its a fixation for years as I’m sure there is more to that number as well.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        John Schnatter? The guy who owns Papa John’s Pizza? The assmunch who complained that Obamacare would raise the price of his pizzas 15 cents while going on national television with Peyton Manning to give away 2 million pizzas? The John Schnatter who now claims he was misunderstood because his statements turned out to be a public relations nightmare? THAT John Schnatter???

      • Capitalist

        Yup – that one. And just so you know the facts – Obamacare isn’t free – its going to cost many small businesses (these are families that worked hard to earn what they have). One of his franchisees made the statement and of course, the media warped it. Franchisees are small business owners too – Obamacare isn’t free – its for the people that don’t care to work – maybe you?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Obamacare is NOT for people who “don’t care to work.” The individual mandate says you have to buy insurance and the 40% of employers who DON’T provide bennies now have to.

        And tell the people who work full-time at Wal-Mart but have to use Medicaid that they “don’t care to work.”

        While you’re at it, try Googling “Small Biz Owner is OK With ObamaCare,” on FOX, no less. Nick Martin, also a pizza joint owner, thinks Schatter should stop whining.

        And I still work, dickhead. I’m in the 97th percentile for income.

    • Darlene Welch Williams

      And how do you know they earned it? How do you know nothing was given to them? You don’t know. Just because you are rich doesn’t mean you earned it..nor does being poor mean you deserve that either. The rich hide their money so they don’t have to pay taxes on it. So how are they paying their far share? There are all kinds of loopholes that help them so they don’t have to pay their fair share.

      • Mike

        In the same example above – someone pays $300k in taxes is paying A LOT more than the person paying $10k. And it all goes to a government that spends it recklessly. I guess the same question goes back to you – how do you they didn’t earn it? Just because some has worked hard, or went the extra mile we should penalize them and I’m not inferring that tax code is rewarding them either. The loopholes are relative for everyone – like house interest, that is there for everyone and its relative. What loopholes specifically are you referring to?

    • JC

      Mike, help me out here. You say they earned. it. I say they were PAID it, which that is not the same as earning it. The CEO of my company is paid $9 million a year. That doesn’t even touch stocks and bonus. (Yes, someone making nine million a year apparently needs a bonus. To — you know– motivate him.) One person, every year, nine million. If this man never slept, and worked every hour of every day in a year, that means he is paid $721 an hour. Tell me Mike, what can this man do that warrants $721 an hour? He isn’t curing cancer, and he isn’t solving environmental issues or even making it possible for me to make more money — because even as the corporate emails tout all the great new clients we have and the businesses we acquire, my pay doesn’t rise accordingly. In fact, the standard raise in my company is 2 percent. Then I discover that there are executives in the company making more in bonuses than I make in a year. Executives who can’t do incredibly complicated tasks for themselves like book a trip or fill out their own expense reports. So really, this man is paid nine million a year by a board that basically employs him to make them even more money. I’d get right behind his pay, Mike, if he were rewarded for more than putting more money into the same pockets. But the fix is in. So no, Mike, they dont’ earn it. They are PAID it. It’s legalized looting on the backs of other people.

      • LMB

        We can relate to this shit. About once a year my husband has to go to these week long meetings with random group of employees where they are given a problem and asked to solve it. One year they saved the company over $100,000, their reward, an effing $10 gift card to Wal-Mart. What are they doing with that extra $100k a year? Definitely not giving it to their employees as my husband gets ONE 30-50 cent raise per year at which they boast about saying “Good job, that’s the most you can get!” No it’s not the most he can get, it’s all you’re will to give arseholes, enjoy your yatch will we decide between groceries or gas in the car.

    • moclips

      Which one of the Walton children “earned it”? What is “earn” at that level? What work or creativity is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a MINUTE? Where is the appreciation in this sentiment for the millions who worked 60-70-80 hours a week as everything from street sweepers to business owners? How is leveraging other people’s money with complex (and illegal) fiscal models “earning” it? Not all the 1% are freeloaders — but neither all of the 99% either.

  • bsmith

    Way to undermine the story by completely exaggerating the claim.

    Basic math here.
    10% increase per year over 29 years would end up with a ~1600% increase for the top 1%.
    If you use real math, that would be about 3.5% per year.

    • Todd

      uh…2007-1979 = 28 years. The article stated a 275% increase between those years, or about 10% per year. If you divide 275 by 28 you get 9.821% or…or….wait for it…ABOUT 10%.

      • Nancy42

        Todd, the math doesn’t work that way. When you talk about percentages year over year, you have to also consider compounding (like when your bank pays you interest). When you claim their pay increases 10% per year, you are only talking about it increasing 10% of the ORIGINAL AMOUNT every year. But in reality, if someone makes 10% more each year, the actual dollars described by that 10% changes. So say someone had an income of $10,000 in year 1. If they got a 10% increase for year 2, they’d make $11,000. Now if they made 10% more the next year, they’d make $12,100 (10% of 11,000 is 1,100). If they made 10% more again the next year, they’d make $13,310. The next year would be $14,641. In year 29 that would be $144,209.94. That’s a 1342% increase in pay.

        bsmith, using 28 years (from year 1 to year 29) the percent per year would need to be approximately 4.84% to have a 275% total increase. Your 3.5% annual rate would only raise their income by 162%. (Note, I’m assuming raises once per year.)

      • Matt

        Yup, the power of percentages! Without the real numbers it’s sometimes hard to define- assuming a 100% increase doubles an income, a 10k income which increases by 275% would now make 37.5k. I also found that a 4.8% increase year over year nets a 272% Increase – thus resulting with a new incoming of 3.72 times the old income. (10% year over year puts the new income at 14.42 times the old income – 1342% gain)

        That being said, to achieve a 40% increase over those years it’s about a 1.2% year over year gain.

        All math aside, the widening wealth gap is still a huge problem. Thanks for the article!

      • Todd

        I agree with you Nancy, but I guess that would be based on what you’re trying to show. Clearly the math I exampled is what the article used. So long as they used the same math for the lower income example, it still shows the difference between the 1% gains vs the 99% gains.

    • Caitlin Heard

      Wow..bsmith, u were clearly not a math major in school. First flaw in ur delusional argument: 28 years, not 29 years. Secondly, 28 times 10 equals 280, which is why he said, about ten percent. The actual number is 9.821% per year. There is a calculator function on cell phones. I suggest u learn to use urs before posting ludacris and outrageous percentages, and making urself look like a fool . Obviously u are an example of No Child Left Behind being an abysmal failure.

      • Nancy42

        Caitlin, while bsmith’s math was off a little, he/she is more correct than you. You cannot divide percentages the way you want to. Your 10% increase per year only works if the increase is the same every year in actual dollars. However, increases in income don’t behave that way. Increases change every year as your income goes up. See my example below Todd’s comment.

      • William Carr

        Your example of compounding interest doesn’t apply.

        The common tactic in Economics is to reference everything off a given year; 1965 for example.

        This is simply an example of saying “Mr Smith’s income increased 10% per year, every year, based on what he earned in 1979.”

        Therefore it’s a linear relationship, not compounded.

        Your error was assuming the original argument implied year OVER year increase.

      • Nancy42

        A linear relationship may make the math easy, but it doesn’t describe reality.

  • Jess Manuel

    Obama’s War on the Rich – – – The GOP

  • Jess Manuel

    How can we vote those bastards GOP out? Their districts are gerry-mandered to the hilt, it’s impossible to vote them out.

  • chigbo.obienu

    But what about the ultimate end benefits exclusively reserved for the poor, and forbidden of the rich – in paradise?



    they want to go back to the “good old days” return tax rates as they were in the 60’s

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Let’s go back to the 1950s when the top rate was 91%

  • Johnny D

    Trickle Down Poverty.

  • Johnny D

    I thing we’re in for a hell of a debt ceiling ride. volitility

  • JackMagist

    Trickle down economics is not about the wealthiest individuals. It is about letting corporations make more and thereby spend more thereby circulating the money around and creating MORE JOBS (a concept that Obama doesn’t seem to get).

  • Matthew Reece

    Another revolution is what we need. Sadly, many people will not question the system that enslaves them until they have trouble finding something to eat. So supporting policies which will continue to rapidly widen the income
    inequality gap between the wealthiest 1% of your citizens and the other
    99% may do some good in the long run.

  • Thom Cameron

    This country grew to the zenith of power and prestige under the supply/demand theory of economics.
    Suddenly, that model no longer worked and the Trickle down theory was rolled out.
    Now what has happened to our economy under it?
    Look at where we stand World wide in any section you wish.
    I dare you

  • Sunwyn Ravenwood

    We need a constitutional amendment making all members of the House of Representatives elected “at large” in their States, a Senators are, instead of elected by district. If a state has 20 Representatives, the top 20 who get votes take the office. This would make it possible for small parties to compete against the Big Two.
    The Democratic Party of today stands where the Republican Party did 40 years ago and the Republican Party has gone so far tot he right it has fallen into the abyss.

  • Buddy Deroy

    Oh come on. How many in that 1% are his buddies and his backers. Wake up people. Look at how his income has increased.

  • Buddy Deroy

    At the other end of the spectrum is the 50% not paying a cent of tax, many of them living off the government. Their number is also increasing year after year and it is the rest of us left to pay taxes.

  • U S A

    No one person or persons should dictate to a society what they should do or not do as far as health insurance; this should be left up to the individual themselves. I do not believe that illegal immigration should be legalized for any one. No matter color or creed or religion. This is suppose to be a country of freedom to be able to live your lives as you see fit. That is what our men and women over the years died and fought for. The right to choose not to be dictated to or suppressed.

  • wandafulthings

    If you work, you should be able to afford to eat! A few weeks ago someone tried to use the Bible, to defend cutting food stamps saying if you don’t work you don’t eat! OK then lets make the minimum wage, a living wage, because if you work, you should be able to afford to eat!