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The Selling Out of the Middle Class is No Accident: Interview transcript part 1, with Donald Bartlett and James Steele

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James Steele:    And it's" I think we use the term forty five[45] million in the book. I think it's 45 million in the book that we consider the heart of the middle class. And the fact that the middle class is shrinking, I mean there's"

Donald Barlett: There's no debate on that.

James Steele:    In fact there's a recent survey by the Pew Foundation, that's got an awful lot of ink. And more people fell out of middle class in the last ten years than any other time in American history. So the fact that, you know the middle class is hurting, shrinking, I think is pretty widely established at this point.

Rob Kall: Okay. When you say that 45 million number, that's the number of people who have tax returns, I think? Not..

James Steele:    Right.

Rob Kall: Not"  it doesn't count families or children?

James Steele:    That's with everything.  Yeah.

Rob Kall:  [inaudible in background 06.57]  I think more than a 100

James Steele:    That would be more than... That's right, it would be more than 45.

Rob Kall: Okay.

James Steele:    Million persons, it would be families. In some cases it would be an individual. Other cases, a couple. Another case is a family with kids. Right? 

Rob Kall: When we talked about the middle class, we talked about the poor. Now what makes us wealthy? The wealthy people? The rich? The.. Your...

James Steele:    We talk about" the only month we really quantify in the book are what IRS calls the "richest American'. "The 400 richest tax payers." And we make the point in the book that in the mid '50s the richest Americans paid 51% of their income in federal taxes. By 2007 on the edge of the meltdown, that percentage was down to 16%. And that's the richest ones. I mean there's obviously tons of very, very wealthy people who aren't in that top 400. But that's one quantifiable group that shows very dramatically how taxes have lowered floors to the very wealthiest in this country.

Rob Kall: Now I wanted to ask you about this, because back in the '50s when Dwight Eisenhower was President, there was a 92% tax category.

Donald Barlett: That's exactly right. [James inaudible in background]

Rob Kall: Now what's the story with that? Where does that fit in?

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Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

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Rob is, with the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here. To learn more about Rob and, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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 The vast majority of people are not middle c... by Carol Jackson on Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 at 12:52:56 PM
The guests were OK as far as they go, but it seems... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 at 12:59:39 PM
The demise of the middle class a.k.a. working clas... by Donald Forbes on Thursday, Oct 18, 2012 at 2:08:44 PM
This is very informative, but it still does not di... by Ralph Dratman on Thursday, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:25:50 PM
Donald Barlett states that the "bulk" of the U.S. ... by E. J. N. on Friday, Oct 19, 2012 at 2:41:24 PM
Exactly how bad does a democratic presidential ca... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Oct 21, 2012 at 1:37:09 AM