Center for American Progress Action

Rich Getting Richer, Average Americans Getting the Shaft
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Rich Getting Richer, Average Americans Getting the Shaft

President Bush recently proclaimed that the economy had finally "turned the corner." But the reality is the Bush economy is the same as it has always been: a boon for the ultra-rich and a disappointment for the average American.

President Bush recently proclaimed that the economy had finally “turned the corner.” But the reality is the Bush economy is the same as it has always been: a boon for the ultra-rich and a disappointment for the average American.

  • Bush’s policies have widened the gap between the ultra-rich and the middle class. According to a study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, fully one-third of the president’s tax cuts went to the top 1 percent of earners. Two-thirds of the tax cuts went to individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year. Not surprisingly, the middle class now bears a larger share of the tax burden , and the wealth gap between the ultra-rich and the middle class has widened. Now, Bush is pressing to make his tax cuts permanent.
  • It’s harder for the average American to make ends meet. During the Bush administration , wages have stagnated. Meanwhile, prices for health care, housing, tuition, gas and food have soared. The result: while the ultra-rich cash in from massive tax cuts , it is increasingly difficult for the average family just to get by.
  • There are still 1.2 million fewer jobs than when the recession started in March 2001. Bush’s tax cuts have failed to stimulate the job growth he promised. Since the last tax cut took effect in July 2003, the economy has created 2.6 million fewer jobs than the President’s counsel of economic advisors predicted. The jobs that are being created are lower paying than the jobs they replaced. Even with this abysmal record of the Bush tax cuts on the economy, the president is pushing to make his tax cuts permanent.

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