America's Opportunity Crisis
Today, the United
States is beset by a crisis in inequality. It's not a crisis of
unequal wealth or income, exactly � it's a crisis of unequal
We see it up and down American society.
underprivileged are trapped in poverty, sometimes for generations. The
middle class is caught on a treadmill, running harder every year just to
maintain the economic security and social cohesion that were once
taken for granted.
At the top of our society, we find a
political and economic elite increasingly exempted and insulated � by law
� from the rigors of competition and the consequences of their own
Many see this inequality and assume it must be a
failure of the free market or due to a lack of government
But in many ways, bigger government is not the solution to
unequal opportunity � it's the cause.
It is government
policies, after all, that trap poor children in rotten schools and poor
families in substandard housing. It is government policies that
inflate costs and limit access to quality schools and health care and that
hamstring badly needed innovation in higher education. And it's
government policies that give preferential treatment and subsidies to
well-connected corporations and special interests at the expense of everyone
There is a very good reason why Americans
increasingly believe our system has become rigged against those who work hard
and play by the rules.
America's crisis of unequal
opportunity is the greatest challenge facing the United States today. We need
to start developing a new agenda that restores equal opportunity � the
God-given right to pursue happiness � to the families and communities
from whom it has been unfairly taken.
I plan on playing an
active role in developing this new agenda, and I am introducing a tax
reform plan that I believe is a good first step. You can learn
more about it here: