Rush Limbaugh has resorted to repeating discredited or misleading claims - that "the rich are not richer than they've ever been" and that the number of millionaires in the U.S. has decreased -- in order to dismiss President Obama's newly proposed jobs plan.
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Limbaugh: "The Rich Are Not Richer Than They've Ever Been"
Limbaugh: "The Percentage Of Millionaires In This Country Is Down 39 Percent." Limbaugh baselessly claimed that the rich are not getting richer:
LIMBAUGH: The rich are not richer than they've ever been. This country is -- the percentage of millionaires in this country is down 39 percent the last two years. The rich are not richer. There are so many myths that are associated with this. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/20/11]
But After-Tax Income For The Top One Percent Of Earners Has Skyrocketed ...
The Congressional Budget Office has shown that after-tax income for the top one percent of earners has increased 256 percent between 1979 and 2006:
[Center for Economic Policy Research, accessed 9/21/11]
... And The Number Of Millionaires Has Actually Increased
Wall Street Journal: "U.S. Has Record Number of Millionaires." In June, the Journal reported that there were 3.1 million millionaires in the U.S. in 2010, up from 2.86 million in 2009:
If further proof were needed of the two-speed recovery -- the rich and the rest -- now comes news that America has a record number of millionaires.
According to the annual World Wealth Report from Merill Lynch and Capgemini, the U.S. had 3.1 million millionaires in 2010, up from 2.86 million in 2009. The latest figure tops the pre-crisis peak of three million.
Merrill and Capgemini define millionaires as individuals with $1 million or more in investible assets, not including primary home, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables. [The Wall Street Journal, The Wealth Report, 6/22/11]
Forbes: "The Rich Are Getting Much Richer." In May, Forbes reported that the Boston Consulting Group estimated that the number of millionaire households also increased:
The Boston Consulting Group came out with its own wealth report today and the findings closely mirror what we at Forbes reported back in March. The rich are getting much richer, this time as measured not by record number of billionaires but by record assets under management. Global wealth, according to BCG, is now up to $121.8 trillion, a $9 trillion gain.
"2010 was a damn good year for global wealth," said Monish Kumar, senior partner and global leader of Asset and Wealth Management at BCG. "Global wealth is at an all time-high."
The U.S. still has the largest number of millionaire households, with an estimated 5.22 million, representing 4.5% of all American households. That is up from 4.75 million last year and up from 4.14 million in 2005. Of those, just 2,692 are ultra-high-net-worth households with more than $100 million in assets under management. [Forbes, 5/31/11]