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WATCH LIVE: Obama talks income inequality

President Obama will cast growing income inequality and a decline in economic mobility as a “fundamental threat to the American dream” during a speech Wednesday in Washington.

The speech will serve as an early preview for next year’s State of the Union address, according to a White House official, who said Obama would focus much of his energy over the next three years on the issue.

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“The decisions we make over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where, if you work hard, you can get ahead,” the official said.

In his last State of the Union address, Obama made several proposals that were intended to help the poor and reduce economic equality, but few have gained any traction.

The president called for hiking the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour, and for providing universal access to prekindergarten education for all 4-year-olds.

But the White House itself has spent most of the year focused on other issues, including immigration reform, gun control and battles with Congress over government funding.

Wednesday’s event will take place in Anacostia, a predominantly African-American section of Washington, D.C., with a high unemployment rate.

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