Former President Jimmy Carter
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter says the income gap in the United States has increased to the point where members of the middle class resemble the Americans who lived in poverty when he occupied the White House.
Carter offered his assessment of the nation's economic challenges Monday at a construction site in Oakland - the first of five cities he and wife Rosalynn plan to visit this week to commemorate their three-decade alliance with Habitat for Humanity.
During an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, he said that years of tax breaks for the wealthy, a minimum wage untethered from the inflation rate and electoral districts drawn to maximize political polarization have reduced the quality of life for all but the richest Americans.
Carter says that even comparatively well-off regions like the San Francisco Bay Area have been hard-hit by foreclosures and need more affordable housing.
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