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TheStreet Open House

Incomes of Top 1% Rose 275% in 28 Years

CBO Top 1% Income Chart

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- A government report may add fuel to the fire for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Households in the top 1% of wage earners saw their after-tax incomes more than double between 1979 and 2007, significantly outpacing each of the other income brackets' growth in wages in those years, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

In total, after-tax incomes for the top 1% shot up by 275% from 1979 to 2007, the CBO found. Those in the next higher bracket -- the highest 20% of earners (excluding the top 1%) -- saw their earnings increase by 65%, which is not insignificant but only a small fraction of the gains had at the tippy top.

Meanwhile, wages have been comparatively stagnant at the low end of the income spectrum. The bottom 20% saw their wages increase by just 18% during that 28-year period.

As a result, the CBO found that those in the bottom 80% of wage earners saw their share of the nation's total income decline by 2 to 3 percentage points depending on which bracket they were in, while the top 20% of income earners saw their share increase by 10 percentage points, largely driven by gains among the top 1%.

No wonder the other 99% are so upset.

(Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal)

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