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The Rich Got Poorer

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The percentage of total individual income going to the top earners shrank dramatically in 2008, according to the Tax Foundation.

The Tax Foundation, Washington, says the 1% of filers at the top of the U.S. income spectrum earned at leBattered Top Hatast $380,354 in 2008 and accounted for 20% of all individual income reported.

The 1.4 million top filers’ share of U.S. income was down from 22.8% in 2007, the foundation says.

The top filers’ share of income taxes paid fell to 38%, from 40.4%.

Top filers’ share of total income tends to fluctuate dramatically during every recession, because many top filers get a high percentage of their income from capital gains, bonuses and other volatile sources, foundation experts say.

- Allison Bell