President Obama on Wednesday declared that addressing income inequality would be the focus of “all” of the White House’s efforts “for the rest of my presidency.”
In a sweeping address that touched on raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure and ending tax breaks for the wealthy, Obama warned that the American economy has become “profoundly unequal,” declaring economic mobility the “challenge of our time.”
“The combined trends of increasing inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe,” he said in an hourlong speech from a community center in Anacostia, one of Washington, D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods. Obama’s speech came as the president has seen his approval ratings drop with the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare.
A CBS News poll released last month showed six in 10 adults disapprove of the president's handling of the economy. Some 69 percent says the president has not made real progress toward fixing economic problems. And despite a booming stock market, unemployment remains high, at 7.3 percent.
Unemployment would be even higher were it not for the millions of people who have left the workforce. The percentage rate of people in the workforce has fallen since the recession that was in full force at the beginning of Obama’s presidency.