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Obama promises action on inequality, but proposals are ‘modest’ says John Cassidy

January 29th, 2014
03:00 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

In his most important scheduled speech of the year, U.S. President Barack Obama called for a “year of action” – with or without Congress.

At the center of his agenda was not the deficit, or the national debt, but inequality.

According to two UC Berkeley economists, 95% of income growth during the economic recovery went to the top 1% richest Americans.

But Obama’s actual proposals, said John Cassidy, economics writer for The New Yorker, were “very modest if you looked at it closely.”

Among those “modest” proposals – enacted without Congress – are raising the minimum wage for new federal contractors.

There appears to be popular support for taxing the super rich more heavily, he said, but that has not translated into government action.

Inequality “has produced some anger,” he told CNN’s Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, “but for whatever reason the political system doesn’t seem to be able to respond to it.”

Click above to watch Gorani’s full conversation with Cassidy.


Filed under:  Latest Episode • U.S. Politics
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. crinnnnge

    Inequality ????? , okeeee , what he means to say that bankers are so poor that they must be helped more and more .

    January 30, 2014 at 4:04 am | Reply
  2. Bill in Texas

    Modest they may be. Lies they most certainly are.

    February 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  3. André Kruger

    Making people "equal" will NOT lift the bottom line one pixel. You will simply bring the top – and with that the average – down to the lowest common denominator. People are not equal. Have never been. It's the achievements of the remarkable that sets people apart from animals. It's allowing people to achieve their potential ON THEiR OWN that set West Germany apart from East Germany, North Korea from South Korea, Florida from Cuba.

    February 2, 2014 at 10:23 am | Reply

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