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Election 2012: 25 Biggest Issues

17 of 27

Income Inequality

The income gap between the rich and everyone else is getting larger, while middle incomes stagnate. That's raised concerns that the middle class isn't sharing in economic growth as it used to.

Obama would raise taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, plus set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for those earning $1 million or more. He also wants to spend more on education, "a gateway to the middle class." Romney would cut taxes more broadly and says that will generate enough growth to raise all incomes.

Income inequality has risen for three decades and worsened since the recession ended. The Census Bureau found the highest-earning 20 percent earned 51.1 percent of all income last year. That was the biggest share on records dating to 1967. The share earned by households in the middle 20 percent fell to 14.3 percent, a record low.

(AP Photo)



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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