He has been a big supporter of George Bush's tax cuts for the rich -- which we were told would create jobs and drive economic growth.
Part of that is true, those tax cuts certainly drove economic growth -- but the growth was only in the net worth of the wealthiest of individuals.
Under George Bush & Joe Knollenberg's economic policies -- we'll call them "Knollenomics" -- the inequality between rich and poor has grown dramatically.
The Rich Have Gotten Richer Faster Under Knollenomics
A March 29, 2007 article in the New York Times reported on a professor's analysis of IRS data. According to the NYT, some of the conclusions are:
- In 2005, the top 1 percent of Americans (i.e., make over $348,000/yr) got their largest share of national income since 1928
- Those in the top 10% of income levels (i.e., over $100,000/yr) also got their largest share of national income. Everyone else LOST income.
- Total income increased almost 9 percent in 2005. But those gains went primarily to the top 1%
Those in the top 1% saw their incomes go over $1.1 million (a 14% increase).
There are approximately 300 million Americans now.
It takes half of them (150 million in the bottom income tier) to earn as much as the top 300,000 Americans.
The income inequality gap has almost doubled since 1980 -- with the top earners making 440 times what the average person in the bottom half earned.
We Were Warned
Remember during the 2000 Presidential campaign when Al Gore kept saying that George Bush's tax cuts were only going to benefit the top 1%. Well, the data now shows that he was correct.
The NYT article also reported that the "share of income taken by federal taxes" for middle class Americans has been essentially the same for 40 years. But the weathiest of Americans have seen their tax burdens drop by 50%.
The Bush tax cuts -- supported in full and rubber stamped by Joe Knollenberg -- have only made the very rich much richer while the middle class has been left behind.