From The Raw Story in the USA:
Income of 400 richest Americans doubled during Bush era
Published: Saturday January 31, 2009
The 21st century Gilded Age party really got going before the U.S. economy went bust.
It was a party disproportionately enjoyed by high-income Americans, the 400 wealthiest of which actually doubled their share of all U.S. income between 1996 and 2006, new statistics released by the Internal Revenue Service show.
And during the first six years of George W. Bush’s presidency, the average income of those 400 people actually doubled to $263.3 million, according to the data.
Between 2005 and 2006, those 400 Americans saw their income rise nearly 23 percent, and through the first six years of the Bush administration their average tax rate fall by a third, to 17.2 percent, Bloomberg reported.
That 17.2 percent tax rate was the lowest the group has paid on average since the IRS began keeping track of the country’s 400 biggest taxpayers in 1992, the agency’s data shows.
The big reduction — from 2001’s 22.9 percent tax rate for the group — was “due largely” to ex-President George W. Bush’s push to cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003, Bloomberg reported. Bush administration tax cuts that benefit the wealthy will expire by 2011, unless extended or made permanent by Congress and the president.
See also here.