There was high drama on the Hill when a whistle blower in hiding told how some of America's richest citizens cheat on their taxes with the help of offshore banks. The latest scandals point to deeper questions about the fairness of our tax system and the widening gulf between the rich and the rest of us.
The top 0.01% (14,000 Americans) hold 22% of America's wealth (a 2,200-fold equality gap).
The US has a GDP of about $13.8 TRILLION. So 14,000 people are in control of about $3 Trillion of our nations wealth.
That's well over $215 MILLION EACH on average.
The "bottom" 90% (133,000,000 tax paying families) hold 4% of America's wealth, about $550 billion of the national wealth, significant, but shameful in comparison to the 5.5x more wealth that 1/9000th hold.
And don't fool yourself into thinking it's an equal stratification: The bottom 50% (HALF the country) certainly doesn't hold as much wealth as the 50%-75% group, let alone the top 10%, 1%, or 0.01%
This social and economic disparity is the foundation for most of the nation's woes.
The land of opportunity?