VIDEO- Eroding "smaller, poorer" middle class falls to 51%. Blame goes to Congress, banks, corporations, Bush.

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President Bill Clinton:
"This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment."

"This is a clear choice. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation. That's what got us in trouble in the first place."

"President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education, and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class."

"That's what happened when I was President. We need to keep going with his plan."

"It only works if there is a strong middle class." In that case, we have a huge challenge ahead of us. The L.A. Times has a disturbing article about a Pew study that found an eroding middle class falling to 51%.

The Pew study found that some of the shrinkage in the middle class came from people moving into the upper-income tier, which represented 20% of the nation's adults in 2011, up from 14% in 1971. The lower-income group rose to 29% of all adults, up from 25%.

But the money only went in one direction, Taylor said. Over the same period, only the upper-income group increased its share of the nation's overall household income and now accounts for 46% of that total, up from 29% in 1971. The middle class garnered 45% of the total, down from 62% four decades ago. The lower-income group took in 9%, down from 10%. [...]

Overall, the middle class is now smaller, poorer and more pessimistic than previously, the researchers found. [...]

And 85% of middle-class Americans said it was harder now than a decade ago to maintain their middle-class lifestyles.

Of those who felt that way, 62% said "a lot" of the blame lay with Congress. About 54% blamed banks and financial institutions, 47% said the same about large corporations. More people placed blame with the previous Bush administration (44%) than did with the administration of President Obama (34%).

One interesting note: Even though minority groups, including blacks and Latinos, have had it tougher since the economy pooped out, they were still more upbeat than whites and older adults, who usually do better during times like this. And blacks and Latinos are more likely to vote Democratic and be Obama supporters.

And around 50% who identified themselves as middle class said they thought a second Obama term would help them; 42% believed a President Romney would.

As depressing as this news about the shrinking middle class is, if we allow Romney-Ryan-Akin in, it will get exponentially worse.

Anyone who thinks there's no difference between the GOP and Dem tickets or doesn't think their vote counts needs to do more research and reconsider, and while they're at it, think good and hard about who would pick the next Supreme Court justices.

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  • flan59

    Notice the 1% increase for the rich in decades of primarily a Dem in office but a 2% increase during the Reagan and Bush II decades. I think it is a significant statistic. I think it clearly shows the policies were in the side of the rich. I am not an economist, though. I would like to see comparisons of previous decades too.