by Scott A. Hodge
January 28, 2014
President Obama will reportedly focus much of his State of the Union speech on addressing inequality and mobility in America. Much of the rhetoric these issues will generate will not be supported by data or facts. To bolster this discussion with data, we’ve summarized recent work done on inequality and mobility by the Congressional Budget Office and the IRS. Our reports reveal that inequality today is slightly higher than the average of the past thirty years, but less that it was during the last two years of the Clinton administration. The federal tax code is as progressive today as it has been at any time during the past thirty years. In addition, the Top 1% continues to pay a larger share of the federal income tax burden than the bottom 90 percent combined. IRS panel data showed that Americans can move from one economic group to another fairly quickly.