Income of Top 1% Shot Up 275% Since 1979: CBO

And in the process more than doubled their share of all income

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 26, 2011 7:45 AM CDT | Updated Oct 26, 2011 7:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – The top 1% of income earners saw their after-tax income shoot up a whopping 275% between 1979 and 2007, and in the process more than doubled their share of all income, jumping from 8% to 17%, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. The rest of the top 20% saw their income grow 65%, while the middle three-fifths’ income rose 40% and the bottom fifth just 18%. All numbers are adjusted for inflation.

One Democratic congressman hailed the report, which was commissioned by the Senate Finance Committee, as “the latest evidence of the alarming rise in income inequality,” the New York Times reports. All told, the top fifth of earners received more of the nation’s income (53%) than the bottom four-fifths combined. The report cites less redistributive federal policies as a major driver of the gap, as taxes grew less progressive, and federal benefits shifted to programs like Social Security which go to everyone, regardless of income.

Doctors and medical professionals meet for a show of solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in New York.
Doctors and medical professionals meet for a show of solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Demonstrators associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement protest in Times Square on October 15, 2011 in New York City.
Demonstrators associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement protest in Times Square on October 15, 2011 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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