With income inequality at record levels, Bush's legacy lives on


Income inequality pierced its previous record high in 2008 -- a fitting legacy for President George W. Bush. Fresh census figures reveal that the ratio of the incomes of the top 10 percent of Americans -- over $138,000 a year -- to those at the poverty level -- $12,000 -- was 11.4 times. (The previous record was 11.22 in 2003.) Bush's $1.3 trillion worth of tax cuts -- 32.6 percent of which went to the top 1 percent of earners -- have hit their mark.

The political miracle is that Bush was able to get nearly half the vote with policies that helped his base -- the top 1 percent. By 2007, the U.S. savings rate, at -0.7 percent, had reached its lowest level since 1928, right before the Great Depression. And with the price of oil rising to its July 2008 peak of $147 a barrel, Bush won the battle to help his buddies in Houston and Saudi Arabia. One measure of that help: Between January 2001 and August 2006, the W-Industrial Complex Index (WIC) -- a group of energy and defense stocks -- rose 184 percent, while the S&P 500 fell 4 percent.