No, not that fast lane. This fast lane:
Back in October 2000, just before he was elected president, George Bush described his base as “the haves and the have mores.” The remark was made in jest at the annual Al Smith Black Tie dinner, but the joke turned out to be on all those people who used to have just about enough, and who now, eight years later, have next to nothing.
According to government data, as of September, 31.5 million Americans were using the food stamp programme, up 17% from the previous year. That’s 10% of the US population. These are staggering figures.
They bring to mind another staggering figure I recently came across that I have been unable to remove from my subconscious. It is $163,987,000 – the salary that Henry Paulson, now secretary of the US Treasury, took home in 2006 for his services as CEO of Goldman Sachs.