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Sunday Roast: GOP vs. Democrats — the Income Gap

On Friday, President Obama held a press conference, wherein one of the topics was the economy — and how we got into the deep trouble we’re in today.  Basically, Republicans (aided by Bill Clinton) over the last decade really, really, really screwed up everything, and we really don’t want more of the same from the same gang of Republicans.

Rachel then chatted with Ezra Klein about this chart:

On the x-axis, we have the Income Growth Rate, which is pretty self-explanatory; and on the y-axis, we have the Income Percentile, which is where we all will find ourselves — from the bottom 20% of income earners (Ma & Pa Kettle) to the top 5% (Thurston & Lovey Howell).

This is empirical evidence of how Americans fare under Democratic presidents and Republican presidents, as found by Larry Bartels, in his 2008 book, Unequal Democracy, and quoted by Larry Noah, in his Slate article, entitled The United States of Inequality, Too Many Republicans.

[T]he narrowly economic focus of most previous studies of inequality has caused them to miss what may be the most important single influence on the changing U.S. income distribution over the past half-century—the contrasting policy choices of Democratic and Republican presidents. Under Republican administrations, real income growth for the lower- and middle-classes has consistently lagged well behind the income growth rate for the rich—and well behind the income growth rate for the lower and middle classes themselves under Democratic administrations.  ~Larry Bartels

As we can plainly see on the chart above, everyone does well under Democratic presidents, while only the top 5% do well under Republican presidents.  The bottom 20%, those who can least afford their income level coming to a screeching halt, suffer the most.

Things are really tough out here.  Are Americans dumb enough and blind enough to either vote Republicans and Teabaggers into office — clearly against their own best interests?  Are we stupid enough to not vote at all?

We shall see, won’t we?

This is our daily open thread — feel free to rant.