The new Democrat majority in the House and Senate have named as one of their initiatives in 2007 to look to narrow the financial gap that has widened in the last 20 years. Jim Webb the senator elect from Virginia expressed to the Wall Street Journal that Democtrats should focus on the financial disparity in the country.
“America’s top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years,” he wrote. “It should be the first order of business for the new Congress to begin addressing these divisions, and to work to bring true fairness back to economic life.”
Studies by the Census Bureau, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other organizations all report growing inequality in income distribution over the past 35 years. According to a June 2000 study by the Census Bureau, the gap between rich and poor began widening sharply in the early 1980s. From 1980 to 1992, the share of national income going to the top fifth rose by nearly 18 percent.
The income gap continued during the technology boom and the stock-option frenzy of the Clinton years, according to studies by a leading analyst of inequality, James K. Galbraith of the University of Texas. He notes that the collapse of the tech bubble and the surge of military spending under President Bush shifted the pattern of winners – but from blue-state counties to other blue-state counties. In a recent paper, Galbraith found that the big gainers of the 1990s – Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties in California and New York City – were the top four losers from 2000 to 2004, while the four big winners since 2000 were the District of Columbia and Fairfax, Va., Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
The only question I have is just how they hope to accomplish this? If the idea is to just raise taxes on the rich, then I think we could be looking to lose all we have gained in the past November election by gaining majority in the House and Senate. The Democrats ran on a platform, get out of Iraq, universal healthcare, social security reform and now it looks like narrow the financial gap between the classes. Seems to me like a big plate to swallow in 2 short years, but this is what the Democrats wanted and now it’s time to step up.