Sunday, July 15, 2018
Business

PolitiFact: Bernie Sanders cites outdated statistic in income inequality claim

The statement

"The top 1 percent in recent years has earned 85 percent of all new income."

Bernie Sanders, Monday, in a speech at the Democratic National Convention

The ruling

Sanders' wealth claim, a favorite line from his stump speech, is largely accurate. His claim about the uber wealthy hogging almost all of the new income, however, is out of date and exaggerated.

A month before he launched his presidential campaign, Sanders made a version of the claim in an April 2015 interview with Fox News: "99 percent of all new income today (is) going to the top 1 percent."

Back then, we rated the claim Mostly True, as Sanders' figure was credible but not the only way to consider income inequality. (Some economists prefer to also factor in unemployment compensation, welfare and health benefits, Social Security and retirement income.)

According to University of California at Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, the top 1 percent captured 91 percent of pretax, pretransfer income from 2009 to 2012.

For this fact-check, the Sanders campaign referred us to a study by the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute that concludes the top 1 percent got 85.1 percent of new income from 2009 to 2013.

The trouble for Sanders: A lot has happened since 2013. And as the economy has improved, the income disparity has lessened.

When Sanders made the same point at a Democratic debate in February, we found more recent data from Saez. By 2014, the top 1 percent's share of post-recession income dropped to a less egregious (albeit still disproportionate) 58 percent — a figure that Sanders seems aware of.

And last month, Saez updated his numbers again to include 2015 data, and the uber wealthy's share decreased slightly again to 52 percent.

"In 2014 and especially in 2015, the incomes of bottom 99 percent families have finally started recovering in earnest from the losses of the Great Recession," Saez writes, adding that the recovery now looks "much less lopsided" even as income inequality remains extremely high.

We rate his claim Half True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
This Florida burger joint is one of the 10 best in America, travel website says

This Florida burger joint is one of the 10 best in America, travel website says

A 2½-hour drive south could land Tampa residents at one of America’s best burger joints, according the review and travel website TripAdvisor.com.The website released a list of the "10 Most Delectable Burger Joints" in America on Wednesday, placing Na...
Published: 07/14/18
SunPass is a mess. Florida could have seen it coming.

SunPass is a mess. Florida could have seen it coming.

Florida’s SunPass electronic tolling system is a mess. The vendor who runs the system has a backlog of unprocessed charges now running into the millions, a total accumulated since it stopped processing tolls on June 1.Earlier this week, after it bega...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/14/18
Florida’s economy passes $1 trillion mark Friday

Florida’s economy passes $1 trillion mark Friday

Florida may seem like another country sometimes with its wacky "Florida man" stories and uniquely-Florida crimes, but it’s like another country in a new way as of today — its economic clout. Florida’s economy topped $1 trillion Friday, meaning that i...
Published: 07/13/18
Free, eco-friendly taxi service is coming to downtown St. Petersburg this August

Free, eco-friendly taxi service is coming to downtown St. Petersburg this August

ST. PETERSBURG — As downtowns grow — like St. Petersburg’s burgeoning central city — so does traffic, carbon emission and the amount of money spent on gas.The Nickel Ride, a free, eco-friendly taxi service, is looking to change that, and the next cit...
Published: 07/13/18
So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

TAMPA — Dr. Murray Shames holds a flexible, lightweight tube as wide as two garden hoses pushed together in his office at Tampa General Hospital. The polyester tube, and its thinner fastening branches with metal wiring, will be attached inside someon...
Published: 07/13/18
Is a bike lane backlash brewing over St. Pete’s MLK Jr. Street N?

Is a bike lane backlash brewing over St. Pete’s MLK Jr. Street N?

ST. PETERSBURG — In the next month, the city is poised to launch one of the most ambitious bike lane projects in the Tampa Bay area.But some local business owners want to stop construction of those bike lanes along two miles of one of the city’s busi...
Published: 07/13/18
Study says Tampa has some of the highest overdraft and banking fees nationwide

Study says Tampa has some of the highest overdraft and banking fees nationwide

Florida, including Tampa Bay, has some of the highest bank fees in the country, according to a recent study by bank comparison site DepositAccounts.The website broke down overdraft fees, third-party ATM fees and monthly service fees to rank the 50 bi...
Published: 07/13/18

Miss out on Build-A-Bear’s Pay Your Age deal? Chuck E. Cheese has a Friday solution

Did you and your kids miss out on pay-your-age Build-A-Bear promotion? Perhaps they’d rather play some video games over a slice of pizza.In a promotion that some may say smacks a bit of piling on, Chuck E. Cheese announced an All You Can Play promoti...
Published: 07/13/18
Brink: Extending the Suncoast Parkway has gone from boondoggle to folly

Brink: Extending the Suncoast Parkway has gone from boondoggle to folly

In a few short weeks, the Suncoast 2 toll road project has gone from boondoggle to folly.State officials pitched the 13-mile extension of the Suncoast Parkway as a step toward eventually linking the road to Interstate 75 near Ocala via a project dubb...
Published: 07/13/18
Nissan recalls about 105K cars to replace Takata air bags

Nissan recalls about 105K cars to replace Takata air bags

Associated PressDETROIT — Nissan is recalling nearly 105,000 small cars to replace Takata passenger air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers. Included are the 2011 Versa sedan and the 2011 and 2012 Versa hatchbac...
Published: 07/13/18