The richest 1 percent of Americans have been getting far richer over the past three decades while the middle class and poor have seen their after-tax household income only crawl up in comparison, according to a government study.
Average after-tax income for the top 1 percent of U.S. households almost quadrupled, up 275 percent, from 1979 to 2007, the Congressional Budget Office found. For people in the middle of the economic scale, after-tax income grew by just 40 percent. Those at the bottom experienced an 18 percent increase.
The report, based on IRS and Census Bureau data, comes as the Occupy Wall Street movement protests corporate bailouts and the gap between the haves and have-nots. Demonstrators call themselves “the 99 percent.”
“The distribution of after-tax income in the United States was substantially more unequal in 2007 than in 1979,” CBO Director Doug Elmendorf said in a blog post.