The Rundown

Wealth and income inequality in America continuing to explode

By: - December 11, 2019 9:43 am

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Catching our eye:

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent is writing about, “The massive triumph of the rich, illustrated by stunning new data.”

He points first to, “the explosion of income among top earners, in which a tiny minority has vacuumed up a ballooning share of the gains from the past few decades of economic growth.”

Then he points to, “the hidden decline in the progressivity of the tax code at the top, in which the wealthiest earners have over those same decades seen their effective tax rates steadily fall. Put those two factors together, and they tell a story about soaring U.S. inequality…”

The numbers

Sargent reports: “Among the bottom 50 percent of earners, average real annual income even after taxes and transfers has edged up a meager $8,000 since 1970, rising from just over $19,000 to just over $27,000 in 2018.

“By contrast, among the top 1 percent of earners, average income even after taxes and transfers has tripled since 1970, rising by more than $800,000, from just over $300,000 to over $1 million in 2018.”

Millions and millions. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, “Ohio’s public schools could lose millions of dollars to private schools through an expansion of the state’s biggest voucher program.

“New rules on criteria for the EdChoice program in the most recent budget have increased the number of school buildings considered ‘failing’ by more than 400 percent.”

Kasler quotes Ohio School Boards Association lobbyist Will Schwartz saying the expansion could add up to $65,000 per student from kindergarten through graduation.

“Depending on the district and depending on how many students are eligible, they’re looking at millions and millions of dollars that they’re required to pay for this,” he said.

Primary colors. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jackie Borchardt is reporting on possible primary challenges to President Donald Trump in Ohio from former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.

“Ohio will not cancel its 2020 Republican presidential primary election, but Ohio Republican Party officials are supporting only President Donald Trump in the run-up to the March 17 election,” Borchardt reports.

The other two candidates have reportedly requested information on filing for the primary from the Ohio Republican Party. The filing deadline is Dec. 18.

Food, glorious food. The Columbus Dispatch editorial board is sharing their view that, “squeezing food-stamp users won’t boost employment.”

“To get more Ohioans working, efforts to battle addiction and mental illness and to train people for open jobs will be a lot more effective than shrinking SNAP at the margins,” the Dispatch editorial argues.

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David DeWitt
David DeWitt

OCJ Editor-in-Chief and Columnist David DeWitt has been covering government, politics, and policy in Ohio since 2007, including education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, state and local government, business, labor, energy, environment, and social issues. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS, and He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and is a board member of the E.W. Scripps Society of Alumni and Friends. He can be found on Twitter @DC_DeWitt