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Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 4, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.


President Barack Obama speaks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Washington.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the income gap between America's rich and poor is a "defining challenge of our time."

Obama said income inequality has jeopardized the nation's middle class. And he urged Washington to take steps to ensure that the economy works for everyone.

Obama's remarks on the economy come as he seeks to move past the health care woes that have consumed his presidency in recent months. He acknowledged his administration's "poor execution" in rolling out the flawed website that was supposed to be an easy portal for purchasing insurance.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Dontcallmenames says... December 4, 2013 at 11:42 a.m.

It's called life...get over it! Government can't fix it!

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RHudson says... December 4, 2013 at 1:53 p.m.

Can I start laughing now? Geez, government "fix" the economy? Leave it alone....the market is just fine without your help, O.

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Fdworfe says... December 4, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.

I doubt that anyone has serious reason to worry about any damage that has been done to the Democrats by the Affordable Care Act or by promoting an increase in the federal minimum wage. But the Republicans?—now that’s another thing entirely. If the so-called Obamacare comes out anything even close to triumph or even a low mediocre triumph, the right wingies are certain to have a nervous breakdown. It is indeed their own fault. They’ve hyped this “catastrophic” thing to the hilt, over-played every imperfection, proclaimed to high heaven ad infinitum that it is a failure from the start—have in fact convinced every right-wing-leaning American that it’s the worst bogeyman of all human history. Now that’s gonna be a mouthful to prove. Meanwhile, like other social improvements they’ve opposed, the Republicans find themselves again having to resist a minimum wage increase. It’s not easy being a right-wingie these days. Just so you’ll know—you rightie guys have my genuine sympathy.

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guzisalive says... December 5, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Cut welfare, quit rewarding people for having more babies, and hire them to monitor those people on disability. The poor simply need to work and quit whining. Osama's socialism coming out

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... December 5, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.

The term "middle class" is a Marxist term, from a Marxist president. Go figure.

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RonalFos says... December 5, 2013 at 6:52 a.m.

The upper 1% in this country owns 40% of our wealth and the bottom 80% only has 7%. That 7% includes all the poor and most of the middle class in this country. If you don't want Communism or worse, you better deal with this and soon. No society will survive with this kind of inequality.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... December 5, 2013 at 7:43 a.m.

ht tp://ww om/watch?v=n8YCd9-Xtc8&feature=related
Lady Thatcher says it best.

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SurferDuuuude says... December 5, 2013 at 9:18 a.m.

Promoting class warfare that pits American against American is no virtue, and an abomination when coming from the mouth of a sitting POTUS. How does an income gap decrease crime? How does an income gap improve education? How does an income gap lift people from poverty? The "gap" is irrelevant. It does, however, play to Obama's useful idiot base as does his harping on raising the minimum wage. Any American concerned about inflation, the value of the dollar and true purchasing power should be wary of efforts to raise the minimum wage. If gross wages increase 10% but the cost of goods sold adjusted for inflation increases 15%, the net effect is a wage DECREASE. In liberal la la land symbolism trumps substance every time and emotion is more important than truth.
Hey Ronal - "The upper 1% in this country owns 40% of our wealth and the bottom 80% only has 7%. That 7% includes all the poor and most of the middle class in this country." Do you have a point, Ronal? In America, what compromises "wealth"? What are the factors that affect "wealth" in America? Is "wealth" owned or controlled? Can a person be happy, successful, and productive without accruing any "wealth"? Once you understand the definitions you will see the nonsense in your statement about "Communism".

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80Redux says... December 5, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.

The diminishing middle class is joining the poor/lower class due to the lack of good jobs. So then, the question becomes why are good, full time jobs disappearing. The division of the company I work for has reduced staff by 20% since 2009. They are hiring part time people when they can. Why, because government regulations like the ACA, EPA rules, new banking rules,etc. impose too great a burden to do anything else. Our ecomomy is changing. Apparently drones will soon take over the jobs of delivery drivers. Paper is dead, so the people who do the printing for newspapers, books, magazines, etc. need to find a new line of work. Factories are becoming more and more automated. So the picture looks like this. Low skill workers are flipping burgers, medium skill workers are being replaced by technology, and high skill workers are bashed as being part of the 1%. The great equalizer used to be Small Business. People would see a need and fill it. Or they'd build a better a better mouse trap and the world would beat a path to their door. Nowadays, small business has to deal with almost as red tape as a corporate comglomerate. Look around your neighborhood, how many new businesses have started up recently.
This aslo points to the need for a better educational system. Unfortunately, ours is flagging. I saw a report recently that had the U.S. ranked in the mid 30's globally and is getting worse over time. Our schools seem to worry more about social issues like the plight of the Indians, gay rights, and non-man-made global warming, than they do about the hard sciences. Meanwhile, the high skill jobs of tomorrow are going unfilled or are being filled by foriegners.
Ronaldo Maximus was right when he said, "Government isn't the solution, it's the problem". Think about the prosperity we experienced during and after his administration that lasted over 20 years. Renewal and recovery don't begin to describe it and no, our current situation is not related to Reagan, it's beacause of Obama.

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PatWaverly says... December 5, 2013 at 11 a.m.

I find it almost laughable that a 2 term President of the United States would go on the road to tell the story of how bad things are. He can no longer hang this on Bush. This has been his baby for 6 years now. If the economy is a spectacular failure then it's all on him. And I don't need to hear about the Congress. The left has hung every bad thing that ever happened on George W. Bush and him alone. Mr. Obama owns it. Unfortunately he has squandered his presidency not on efforts to support getting Americans back to work but rather focusing a social agenda including gay marriage, gun control, and abortion. Not exactly the recipe for turning the economy around and cutting into the unemployment rate.

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