In 2011 entry into the top 10 percent, where all the gains took place, required an adjusted gross income of at least $110,651. The top 1 percent started at $366,623.
The top 1 percent enjoyed 81 percent of all the increased income since 2009. Just over half of the gains went to the top one-tenth of 1 percent, and 39 percent of the gains went to the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent.
Ponder that last fact for a moment -- the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent, those making at least $7.97 million in 2011, enjoyed 39 percent of all the income gains in America. In a nation of 158.4 million households, just 15,837 of them received 39 cents out of every dollar of increased income.
That disparity in income growth rates comes as the total federal tax burdens on those at the top have been slashed, compared with 1966, especially for the long-term capital gains that account for about a third of total income at the very top.
In 2011 the average income of the bottom 90 percent was just $59 more than in 1966 in real terms.
Back in 1966, the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent reported 1.3 percent of all pretax income. In 2011 that tiny number of American households saw their slice of pie more than triple, to 4.5 percent.
Between 1980 and 2005, more than 80 percent of the total increase in income went to the top 1 percent of American households.
Those at the top are pulling away from everyone else not because of hard work, but the shift of income from labor to capital and changes in federal income, gift, and estate tax rules.