December 22, 2012

REUTERS: Redistributing Up: The federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in the United States – especially in the nation’s capital.

In the town that launched the War on Poverty 48 years ago, the poor are getting poorer despite the government’s help. And the rich are getting richer because of it.

The top 5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., made more than $500,000 on average last year, while the bottom 20 percent earned less than $9,500 – a ratio of 54 to 1.

That gap is up from 39 to 1 two decades ago. It’s wider than in any of the 50 states and all but two major cities. This at a time when income inequality in the United States as a whole has risen to levels last seen in the years before the Great Depression.

Key quote: “We’re seeing an enormous transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the Washington economy.” Well, yes.