Thanks, Rich People!

Income inequality has one shared benefit: it fills federal coffers with tax money

Illustration for TIME by Peter Hoey

During the 2004 election campaign, President George W. Bush pledged to halve the federal deficit, which had ballooned during his first term, by the end of his second. Lots of people--among them this particular economic journalist--scoffed.

The doubters were wrong. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the deficit for the fiscal year that ends in September will be $177 billion--less than half the $413 billion deficit of fiscal 2004. The President will, by all appearances, not only meet his pledge but do so two years early.

He certainly didn't accomplish this by cutting spending--federal expenditures are up 19% since 2004, to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!