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Snowed in: De Blasio, Obama stay focused on wealth gap

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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SNOWED IN: DE BLASIO, OBAMA STAY FOCUSED ON WEALTH GAP
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in chilly Washington today to address the Conference of Mayors, can escape for a while from the frosty furor back home over snowplow inequality. (The city is grumbling that de Blasio’s hipster-heavy neighborhood saw swift attention during his first winter storm as mayor while the residents of tonier neighborhoods on the Upper West Side were left to dig themselves out. De Blasio has copped to botching the snow removal.) Lionized on the left for his focus on hiking taxes and spending to battle income inequality, de Blasio isn't partaking of a White House reception for the group this afternoon, but his fellow mayors can expect to hear a great deal on the subject from President Obama. Obama is warming up for next week’s State of the Union address, which is expected to focus on the same theme. In the universe of heavily-Democratic, very liberal, big-city mayors, the message about income inequality is a sure-fire winner. But what about the rest of the country?

Yadda, yadda, yadda - A new Fox News poll reveals that Americans aren’t exactly up in arms over the president’s preferred topic in this midterm election cycle. Only 13 percent said the government should act to promote economic fairness. Sixty-two percent said income disparities exist “because that’s just how the economy works.” While the president and some Democrats like to charge the rich are getting richer on the backs of the poor, 84 percent of those polled say that’s not so. Only 12 percent said inequality is the top economic issue facing the country. In the lead: Creating new jobs, the top concern of 40 percent of respondents. Seventy-four percent said they thought the country was still in a recession.

[Obama’s overall job approval hovered at 42 percent. Approval of his performance on the economy was just 38 percent. His lowest marks came on addressing the federal deficit. Only 28 percent said he was doing a good job on overspending.]

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Chris Stirewalt

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