Paul L. Caron

Monday, July 17, 2006

WSJ: Income Tilts Toward Wealthy, Away from Workers

Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal:  As Bigger Piece of Economic Pie Shifts to Wealthiest, U.S. Deficit Heads Downward, by Greg Ip & Deborah Solomon:

While tax revenue is growing far faster than the Bush administration forecast in its budget projections in February, the nation's economy isn't. What has changed isn't the size of the economy, but how the economic pie is divided. The share of national income going to corporations and the wealthiest individuals, already large, has expanded, while the share going to typical wage earners has shrunk. Because corporations and the wealthy generally pay income tax at higher rates than does the typical wage earner, that shift benefits the federal Treasury.

U.S. tax revenue for fiscal 2006, which ends Sept. 30, is expected to be 5% -- or $115 billion -- higher, than the administration projected in February. Largely as a result, the budget deficit is expected to be $296 billion this year, instead of $423 billion. But total economic output is expected to be just 1% larger, before adjusting for inflation, than the White House predicted. After adjusting for inflation, it is projected to be just 0.1% larger. While the unemployment rate is lower than the administration had expected, payroll growth has been slower.

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