According to new Census data, income inequality in the USA is at its highest level in more than 50 years. The gap between rich and poor is the widest in five states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana and New York.

Across the USA, nine states saw a sharp increase in inequality in 2018, including in the Midwest and the South.

Income inequality is worsening across the USA, even as the economy extends the longest expansion in the country’s history?

For decades, income growth among higher-earning families in the USA has far outpaced that of lower-income households, prompting proposals from some lawmakers to increase taxes on the ultra-rich.

The economy has grown for 123 straight months, or just over 10 years. That tops the previous record expansion that lasted from March 1991 to March 2001, according to Natixis.

Around the U.S., income inequality is significantly higher in five states, the Census data show: California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana and New York.

That gap has been especially visible in places like California and New York, with their sprinklings of tech and Wall Street billionaires, respectively, as well as large populations of poor and homeless people.

But inequality is also taking root in other parts of the country. The incomes of Louisiana’s richest families have grown far more quickly than than incomes for the poorest, previous research has found.

Some critics contend that the new U.S. tax code, signed into law by President Donald Trump at the end of 2017, is exacerbating the problem because the lion’s share of the tax breaks go to the wealthy.

Meanwhile, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are both campaigning for the 2020 presidential election, have rolled out separate wealth tax proposals.

While they vary on the details, they both propose raising taxes on the assets of the ultra-rich and using the additional revenue to fund social programs such as education and health care.

CBS / ABC Flash Point News 2020.

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