The wealthiest 1% of Americans hit a 21.1% record share of the nation's income, according to IRS figures released yesterday. While the data don't point to a specific cause, the Journal cites the heretofore booming stock market. The previous peak of 20.8% was in 2000, also at the height of a stock bubble, and academics speculate similar conditions prevailed in the 1920s.
“Skills gaps yield income gaps,” President Bush said of the disparity. But the result may hurt Republicans trumpeting Bushonomics in elections: Middle-class faith in the economy is fast eroding amid belief a recession is imminent. The median tax-filer's income dropped 2% between 2000 and 2005, while income just inside the top 1% grew by 3%.