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US rich getting richer

One way of measuring the distribution of income in the United States is by looking at income tax returns. Results have been released showing that the rich are getting richer. An analysis of U.S. tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service shows that in 2005 the top one percent of American earners took home more than 21 percent of all the income that year. It's proof that the rich are getting richer -- and at record levels. Scholars say it's been about 80 years since so much of the nation's wealth has gone to the top one-percent of earners. The IRS tax data shows the bottom half of American earners accounted for just 12.8 percent of all income. If you make less than $31,000 a year you're in that bottom half of earners. What's causing the increasing income gap? Analysts say that it's likely the booming run on Wall Street -- with top traders and the super-rich riding a wave of high returns on their investments. The last time the income gap was setting similar records was during the dot-com boom at the end of the 1990s.

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Tax Facts

Directly from the US Treasury, for CY 2005: The top 1% of earners pay 39.4% of all personal income taxes collected. The top 5% of earners pay 59.7%% of all personal income taxes collected. The top 10% of earners pay 70.3% of all personal income taxes collected. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of earners pay only 3% of all personal income taxes collected. Yeah....those stinkin' rich people.....just not pulling their fair share, are they?