Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pawlenty Counting on Ignorance

In a speech today in Chicago, Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is expected to play the class warfare card according to The Huffington Post:
"President Obama is a champion practitioner of class warfare," Pawlenty will say, according to advance excerpts. "He has spent three years dividing our nation, fanning the flames of class envy and resentment to deflect attention from his own failures and the economic hardship they have visited on America."
What pure and utter crap.  Any class envy and resentment that exists is the result of Republican economic policies of the last three decades which have made the rich richer while the American middle class stagnates or falls behind.

As the following graph from the Paris School of Economics shows, the richest 1% of Americans earned 8.18% of total income in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected.   (H/T The Big Picture) Today the richest 1% of Americans earn 17.67%.  Income distributions have been nowhere near as skewed in other major industrialized nations like Japan, France, and Australia.  During that time, America has gone from being the world's biggest creditor to its biggest debtor, median incomes have gone nowhere, and America's manufacturing base has deteriorated.

Pawlenty's prescription for the economy is more of the same policies that got us where we are today: tax cuts for the rich, less regulation of business, and further dismantling of the social safety net.

It would be nice to think that voters aren't that stupid, but the signs are not encouraging.


  1. Very interesting plot. And if you look at not just income, but also capital gains revenue, the top 1% are actually taking home 23% of all the monies flowing to individuals.

  2. Pawlenty wants to get rid of the capital gains tax in order to make sure that they will keep more of it.