I pulled the actual IRS data from 1986 and 2009 to look closer at the tax argument. Looking at the data you can see that indeed the top 1 % taxes have decreased more than any other group. However, the top 1 percent is those that make over 343,927 not those that make over 200,000 as democrats have been arguing. Actually those that make between 112,124 and 342,926 have seen their taxes decrease the least among all the other groups. The second thing is that the pay increased more for each of the upper groups. Pay increased the most for the Top 1% followed by the Top 5%, 10%, 25%, and last is the Top 50%. I think the argument that the distance between each is growing has validity. However, the argument it is tax policy does not hold water. If it was tax policy then the increases in pay should have been in the order of the largest decreases. The largest decreases were in the Top 1% and they had the highest pay raise. However, the next highest two decreases were the Top 50% and Top 25%. Yet they had the two smallest increases. There has to be another reason for the growing distance in pay rates. I would have to guess it is the change from a manufacturing country to a services country. Service jobs do not pay at the rates of the old manufacturing jobs. To pretend it is tax policy that is making the rich, richer and the poor, poorer is denying the data that does not support that idea. 1986 17,302 Top 50 %: 16.32% 32,242 Top 25% 18.72% 48,656 Top 10% 22.64% 62,377 Top 5% 25.68% 118,818 Top 1% 33.13% 2009 32,396 Top 50 %: 12.50% 23.407 % decrease 66,193 Top 25% 14.68% 21.581 % decrease 112,124 Top 10% 18.05% 20.274 % decrease 154,643 Top 5% 20.46% 20.327 % decrease 343,927 Top 1% 24.01% 27.528 % decrease The pay for each class increased by Top 50 %: 87.24% Top 25% 105.30% Top 10% 130.44% Top 5% 147.92% Top 1% 189.46% I gathered my data at Federal State Local Government Revenue in United States for 2012 - Charts Tables.