The Rich Got Richer
For the first time, everyone on the 2006 Forbes 400 list was a billionaire. The 2005 Forbes 400 list contained 374 billionaires, with a combined net worth of $1.13 trillion. No new editions were added to the 2005 list. Steve Forbes, Forbes magazine publisher, did not make the list because his net worth is only $400 million.
The collective net worth of the Forbes 400 billionaires is $1.25 trillion. In fact $1.13 trillion is more than “the combined gross domestic product of
The minimum net worth needed to make the list went from $500 million to $625 million in 1998. In 1999 the Forbes 400 list had as much wealth as bottom half of
A 2004 study by UC Berkeley professor Emmanuel Saez reported that the income of the median household in 2004 only increased by 1.6 percent. During the 1998 to 2001 period it increased by 9.5 percent. The New York Times conducted a study on the 2003 tax cuts. They found that someone earning $26 million paid the same amount of taxes as a $200,000 to $500,000 wage earner. The median income taxpayer receives a tax cut of $600, while a $10 million dollar wage earner receives a $500,000 tax cut.
Given the above facts, it is clear why Obama declared, "we're taking the air out of the golden parachute."