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Friday, April 06, 2007

"It Didn't End Well Last Time"

Excerpts from the Editorial Page of the New York Times, Wednesday April 4, 2007.

"It Didn't End Well Last Time"

"Not since the Roaring Twenties have the rich been so much richer than everyone else. In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the top 1 per cent of Americans--whose average income was 1.1 million a year--received 21.8 per cent of the nation's income, their largest share since 1929."

"Over all, the top 10 per cent of Americans--those making more than about $100,000 a year--collected 48.5 per cent,also a share last seen before the Great Depression..."

"...government policies do matter. Part of the reason for the shared prosperity of the late 1990s was an increase in the minimum wage and a big expansion of the earned income credit. During the same period...tax increases, spending cuts and binding budget rules--conquered budget deficits and furthered job growth while providing a foundation for reasonably adequate social spending..."

"In contrast, the economic policies of the Bush years have failed to benefit most Americans. The tax cuts have overwhelmingly benefited the richest...At the same time, important social spending has been cut. That exacerbates disparities, because middle-class and poor Americans use government services more than affluent Americans."

"The nation needs an administration that will offer solutions for the scourge of income inequality."

MrKen observes that the Times paints an overly rosy picture of the Clinton Administration's contribution toward mitigating 'income disparity'. Clinton of course also signed the infamous & punitive "Welfare Reform Bill of 1996."
This transferred welfare to a block grant system, i.e. one in which the federal government gives states "blocks" of money, which the states then distribute under their own legislation and criteria. Some states, like New York, simply took the money and used it for non-welfare purposes. This is why the "cash grants" for single adults have not been raised in 20 years ($68.50 2x month)in New York State!


Links: http://nytimes.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_reform



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