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Hillary Clinton gave Bernie Sanders major respect as she accepted the Democratic nomination he worked so hard to claim for himself. Early in her speech, she praised Sanders for putting economic and social justice issues "front and center, where they belong."
Clinton gave Sanders a nod again when she laid out her plans to invest in the nation’s bridges and highways, cut the cost of college tuition and make it easier for small businesses to get loans. She promised it all would be paid for.
"And here's how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes," Clinton said. "Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that's where the money is."
Clinton’s claim about who’s been getting most of the gains comes -- almost -- straight from Sanders.
On the opening night of the convention, he offered a slightly toned down version saying "the top 1 percent in recent years has earned 85 percent of all new income."
The problem is, when we looked into that, we found that the numbers are out of date.
University of California Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez is the go-to source on income inequality. According to Saez’s latest data, the top 1 percent took in 52 percent of all income in 2015.
As recently as 2012, the fraction was close to 90 percent, but here’s how things have changed since then:
When we reached out to the Clinton campaign, they cited a fact-check we wrote in 2015. But as we’ve noted, the trend has changed. Inequality still exists, but not at the level the country was seeing before.
As Saez explained in his most recent report, "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."
Clinton said that "more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent." That statistic was approximately correct a few years ago, but today, one of the nation’s leading authorities on income distribution says a more accurate figure is that 52 percent of all income flows to the top 1 percent.
That still reveals a great deal of inequality, but not at the scale Clinton said.
We rate this claim Half True.https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/4ce46feb-1282-4db0-b9d3-cfbea21425d0
Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton speech, July 28, 2016
PolitiFact, Bernie Sanders' outdated income inequality statistic, July 26, 2016
Emmanuel Saez, "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Updated with 2015 preliminary estimates)," June 30, 2016
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