Many Republicans would have the American people believe their party's economic policies benefit everyone, and if only we all work hard, we can achieve the so-called "American dream." They also would have us believe that if we do not achieve economic security and self-sufficiency, it is because we are "lazy" and we are "takers."
The facts dispel both these talking points. Today, we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country and more inequality than at any time since 1928. The top 1 percent owns 42 percent of U.S. financial wealth, while the bottom 60 percent owns only 2.3 percent. In terms of income distribution, the top 1 percent earned 93 percent of all new income in 2010, while the bottom 99 percent shared the remaining 7 percent. It is even worse now. If "trickle down" economic theory worked as the Republicans claimed it would, then we would not be seeing such income inequality. In fact, the "American Dream" would still be a reality for the middle class.
Instead, one out of every two Americans or 50 percent of the population lives in poverty or is considered low income. What is wrong with this picture, America?
Melissa Souza, Pasco