Nov 03, 2011 3:19 PM GMT
But it turns out that the rich actually got poorer under President Bush, and the income gap has been climbing under Obama.
What's more, the biggest increase in income inequality over the past three decades took place when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.
The wealthiest 5% of U.S. households saw incomes fall 7% after inflation in Bush's eight years in office, according to an IBD analysis of Census Bureau data. A widely used household income inequality measure, the Gini index, was essentially flat over that span. Another inequality gauge, the Theil index, showed a decline.
In contrast, the Gini index rose — slightly — in Obama's first two years. Another Census measure of inequality shows it's climbed 5.7% since he took office.
Meanwhile, during Clinton's eight years, the wealthiest 5% of American households saw their incomes jump 45% vs. 26% under Reagan. The Gini index shot up 6.7% under Clinton, more than any other president since 1980.