A lost decade for the middle class


Today is Patriot Day and I feel much safer now that George W. Bush is no longer in the Oval Office to use it for his political purposes. But he achieved a great victory for his base while in office -- creating a lost decade for the middle class while enriching the 400 most highly paid taxpayers. Of all his accomplishments none is greater than creating a political machine that persuaded almost half the country to vote for a candidate who represented the interests of the top one percent.

How bad have things been for the middle class during the decade which ended with Bush's last year in office? The median household income has fallen two percent since 1998 from an inflation-adjusted $51,295 to 2008's $50,303. Meanwhile, the decline in Bush's last year in office, 3.6 percent from 2007's $52,163, was the biggest one on record. The reason for the decline was that so many people shifted from full-time to part-time work.