The report (pdf) "Building a Better America -- One Wealth Quintile At A Time" by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent. http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton ariely in press.pdf The top 400, all of whom are worth at least $1 billion, saw their combined wealth increase 8 percent this year, to the dizzying total of $1.37 trillion, according to analysis from CNN. Meanwhile, according to data released last week by the Federal Reserve, the net worth of American households and non-profits in the second quarter of this year plunged 2.8 percent, or $1.52 trillion, from the previous quarter, to settle at $53.5 trillion. The Richest People in America - Forbes.com Federal budget begins "October 1st". That means when Bush took office, his new budget started on October 1st. When Obama took office, his budget started on October first. Every president spends the first 8 months of his presidency under the budget of the previous president. United States federal budget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia September 30th, 2001 the last day of Clinton's budget, Bush was handed an unemployment rate of 5.3%. EXACTLY eight years later, September 30th, 2009, on the last day of Bush's budget, Obama was handed an unemployment rate of 10.1%. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Published: January 20, 2009 He spoke for about 20 minutes, after taking the oath of office on the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inaugural in 1861, emphasizing his determination to unite Americans in confronting both the economic challenges facing him and the continuing fight against terrorism. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/21/us/politics/20web-inaug2.html In 1950, the richest 20 percent of Americans controlled 42.8 percent of wealth, the middle 20 percent controlled 17.4 percent, and the poorest controlled just 4.5 percent. By 1980, the wealthiest group controlled 41.6 percent, the middle group 17.5 percent, and the poorest 5.1 percent. However, by 1998, the poor and middle groups had lost some ground to the wealthy. The richest group controlled 49.2 percent of wealth, the middle group just 15 percent, and the poor just 3.6 percent. That same year the richest 5 percent of the population controlled 21.4 percent of wealth. The trend toward the greater concentration of wealth by the rich has accelerated throughout the 1990s United States of America Poverty and wealth, Information about Poverty and wealth in United States of America To summarize, in 1950, 20 percent of Americans controlled 42.8 percent of wealth. In 2010, 20 percent of Americans controlled 84 percent of wealth. Let's point out that from 2001 to 2008, millions of jobs were moved to China. That movement was subsidized by trillions in tax cuts and government subsidies. Those that invested "over there" are getting even more rich and those left "over here" are not only without jobs, but we are giving tax breaks to those invested "over there" and threatening to cut unemployment benefits for those left "over here". So the bottom line, Republicans need not fear a "redistribution of wealth". Through their policies, it's already happened. Have a Happy New Year.