ERIC WIEFFERING

www.startribune.com/blogs/Eric_Wieffering.html

Defining the 99% and the 1%

Here's what's behind some of the "We Are the 99%" ire:

The data and charts are courtesy of a new Congressional Budget Office report about trends in household income distribution over the past three or so decades.

So that everybody knows what we're measuring: After-tax income is income after federal taxes have been deducted and government transfers -- which are payments to people through such programs as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance -- have been added.

For those who prefer to read words vs. interpret charts, the Congressional Budget Office finds that between 1979 and 2007:

• For the 1 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 percent.

• For the 60 percent of the population in the middle of the income scale, the growth in average real after-tax household income was just under 40 percent.