Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rich or Poor - Very Little in the Middle

"The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most...[House] representatives...are members of the top 1 percent....are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift--through legislation prohibiting the government...from bargaining over price--it should not come as cause for wonder....Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work." How the Richest "1 Percent" Keep Rewarding Themselves for Epic Failure > FULL STORY HERE

$1 million equals almost 6 congressional salaries ($174,000 X 5.7 = $1,000,000.00) or 20 times the "real median household income" for average working people, which is about $50,000 a year. The "real median wage" per person is just barely $45,000 per worker - or a congressman earns 3.86 times more than an average wage earner.

Before the Great Recession in 2006, there were approximately 116 million households in the United States. 1.93% of all households had annual incomes exceeding $250,000 - - - 12.3% fell below the federal poverty threshold and the bottom 20% earned less than $19,178 (or 23 million households, not people.)

Last year there were 5.5 million U.S. households (4.75%) with assets of $1 million or more. The population of American households with $5 million or more in assets surged 16%. The population of those with $10 million increased 17%.

Today 2.5 million U.S. households (2.15%) had income greater than $250,000. So a household that's making $250,000 today is making about five times the median. NEWSWEEK: "For those of you making more than $250,000, I regret to inform you yet again: Yes, you are indeed rich - any way you slice it."

Annual Household Incomes

20.00% earned less than    $     19,000
20.00% earned more than  $    100,000
02.50% earned more than  $    250,000
04.75% had more than      $ 1,000,000
47.25% sub-total
42.75% = those earning between $19k and $100k a year

20% earned less than $19k
40% earned between $20k and $50k
20% between $50k and $99k
20% earned more than $100,000

The poor and "lower-middle-class" - 60% *
The middle-class" - - - - - - - - - - 20%
The rich and "upper-middle-class" - 20%

* This is where the budgets cuts come from. They lay us off from jobs or cut our hours and/or hourly pay, then then refuse us food stamps and healthcare.

80% are poor and lower to middle-class
20% are rich and upper-class

The "real median household income" is about $50,000 a year (or $24.00 an hour total between all working people in the house - before taxes, Medicare, union dues, etc. are deducted).

A husband and wife working full-time for the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour would earn a combined income of $30,160 a year (Or if single: $15,080 and still have to pay income taxes...unlike GE, Exxon-Mobil, or Boeing). $16,800 is average for an annual Social Security disability income.

9 million Americans live below the $10,000 government standard for poverty, but when calculating the cost-of-living index, two of the most necessary and highest costs, energy and food aren't even included. So therefore, because a 52" flat-screen TV might not cost more than last year, poor people on welfare, disability or Social Security won't get any COLA increases again. If the electric bill for a poor person doubles from $100 a month to $200 a month, it means less food. For a congressman earning $174,000 a year, it's noticeable but doesn't affect their standard of living at all. For the uber-rich, it's like dropping an old penny on the ground.

Now 50 million Americans rely on some form of government assistance (such as food stamps, Medicaid, etc.) This is were the budget cuts are made while millionaires pay less in taxes.

"What's usually a debate about federal spending had shifted into talks about where to cut, and both parties took aim at the chief federal health programs for the elderly and the poor, Medicare and Medicaid." Seniors, Poor Are Prime Targets of Obama Budget Cuts FULL STORY HERE

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