President Barack Obama called income inequality a key problem facing the country in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
“Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better,” Obama said to a joint session of Congress during the State of the Union Tuesday. “But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.”
Obama has said several times he will devote the rest of his presidency to tackling income inequality in America.
“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action,” Obama said. “That’s what most Americans want – for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.”
“Let’s face it: that belief has suffered some serious blows,” the president continued. “Over more than three decades, even before the Great Recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good, middle-class jobs, and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on.”