POLITICS

Senate Represents The Wealthy First: Study

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: A U.S. flag flies in front of the dome of the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: A U.S. flag flies in front of the dome of the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama will give his annual State of the Union address this evening during a joint session of the Congress. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As economists dig into the question of how bad U.S. income inequality is, a new study analyzes how Congress is fitting in to that equation.

According to research set to be published in Political Research Quarterly next month, the 107th through 111th Congresses saw a Senate that was more responsive to the upper income bracket. Using data from the 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey and various roll call votes, the study included some findings on party lines as well, headed by Republicans being more responsive to middle-income Americans during the 109th Congress.

“The fact that lower income groups seem to be ignored by elected officials, although not a new finding, remains a troubling observation in American politics,” wrote Trinity University's Thomas J. Hayes, the author of the study, according to Raw Story.

Earlier this week, HuffPost Business highlighted a paper showing that the U.S. has the worst income inequality in the developed world. Over the last four decades, the upper one percent has doubled its slice of the nation's total income from 10 to 20 percent, outdoing every other developed country over that span.

Looking for the quick version of how the U.S. reached its income inequality quandary? Watch former Labor Secretary and current HuffPost blogger Robert Reich explain the problem in 150 seconds.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
2012's Most Expensive Senate Races
CONVERSATIONS