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.