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For Poverty, Tax Code Debate Offers Little Consensus

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of President Johnson, speaks Wednesday during an event to mark the 50th anniversary of his declaration of the “war on poverty” in the Capitol Visitor Center. Democrats have used the anniversary to focus on questions of income inequality.

Among 131 countries in the world, the wealthiest 3 percent of citizens control 20 percent of the wealth, according to a Gallup report using data aggregated from 2006 through 2012. In the U.S., the top 4 percent of earners account for a 20 percent share of income. Europe fared slightly better by that measure; there, the top 6 percent control 20 percent of income, even though European tax codes are considered more regressive because of the reliance on consumption taxes.

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