The richest 1 percent of Americans earned more than 21 percent of all U.S. income in 2005, according to Internal Revenue Service data. That is a big increase from 2004, when the top 1 percent earned 19 percent of the nation's income. What's more, the gap between America's rich and poor is wider than at any time since the Roaring Twenties. "The time is long overdue," Senator Bernie Sanders said, "for members of Congress to look beyond the needs of their wealthy campaign contributors and begin addressing the issue of income and wealth disparity."
Today's middle class -- after taking care of essentials like housing and health care -- has about half as much spending money as their parents did in the early 1970s, according to a leading economist. The basics, according to Harvard Economics Professor Elizabeth Warren, now take up close to three-quarters of every family's spending power.
Her theories, according to an MSNBC report, "fly in the face of conventional wisdom…but the premise is simple: Even though household incomes have risen about 75 percent from 1970, most of that is the result of a second earner — generally a woman — joining the work force. And that added income has been swallowed by rising fixed expenses, such as child care and housing costs."
What would Sanders do to change the situation? For starters, the senator would rescind Bush's tax cuts for the rich. He would redirect those resources to meet the needs of our children, disabled, seniors, veterans and other vulnerable populations.