Between 1992 and 2000, the income cut-off for the top five percent – the lowest income you could make and qualify for that elite group – rose by 21 percent. That compares with flat incomes for the top five percent under Bush, and a slight decline in the top 5 percent income-cut off under President Barack Obama.
Of course, cut-offs don’t tell us what happened to the total income of all Five Percenters. A select group of big gainers at the top might skew those results. (Read more: One Percent Gives Up Ground – to the Five Percent)
What’s more, the Gini coefficient – a complex formula devised to measure inequality – has escalated under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, according to Census. (Though there is conflicting data on this).
Still, while no one should feel sorry for the Five Percenters, the decline in cut-off incomes suggest that the real income of the top five percent has fallen by four percent since 2006 and are still below the levels of 1999. Meanwhile, the incomes of the middle 50 percent is down about 2 percent since 1999 and down less than 1.5 percent from pre-crisis 2006.