Originally Posted by patteeu
The graph in post 77 seems to indicate that the poverty level goes down after the Reagan tax cuts, up after the Bush I tax increase, down after the Clinton tax increase, and then up after the Bush II tax decrease. What that tells me is that tax cuts and increases aren't the driving factor for poverty levels (and by implication, the size of the middle class).
But for the purpose of answering your original question, during the period between 1982 and 1989, in the aftermath of the Reagan tax cuts, income inequality was growing but there was a pretty steady decline in the poverty rate (and by implication, an increase in the size of the middle class).
You completely rewrite history to ignore Reagan raising taxes and closer look shows that all that happened only after he did.