The graph on the right (from Washington Monthly via MoveOn) exposes the Gordon Gecko greed behind the ridiculous Republican chorus of "socialism!" over Obama's plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.
Returning the top marginal rate to 1990s levels (when the Clinton economy boomed and we created budget surpluses) would still tax the rich at levels below those during Reagan's first term and much lower than the 91% levied during the Eisenhower years.
The combination of Bush's irresponsible tax cuts and Cheney's military misadventures has proven a lethal combination to the American economy. Trickle Down economics simply didn't work. As the rich got more, the rest received less. Middle class families have paid a high price for this failed ideology. In the current recession they have lost millions of jobs. Their nest eggs have disappeared as the market crashed and the housing bubble burst.
And the Republican response to this chaos? Cry "Socialism!" when all that's being asked of the rich (many of whom are the titans of finance that brought us to this precipice) is that they pay a marginally higher tax rate to help fix our shattered economy.
Gordon Gecko would be proud.