Americans are rightly riveted by the House impeachment inquiry, but there’s another story that will continue to play out no matter who is in the White House: Yawning income inequality, the highest in 50 years, according to last week’s U.S. Census Bureau report.
This is one of the defining stories of our time.
If millions of Americans don’t see a way up the ladder of opportunity, why would they believe in the system?
For three decades, the Center for Public Integrity has been doing deep dives into the influence of money on politics. Today, we are widening our focus with a new team covering inequality. This new area of work will build on the huge impact and popularity of our stories on Trump’s tax cuts which exposed how little the president delivered on his promises of more jobs and higher wages, and how legislation he pushed worsened the racial economic divide. Thanks to Congress, corporations such as Amazon and Netflix paid no federal taxes in 2018.
Our approach will be rooted in our expertise in data journalism and a collaborative culture we have built with a consortium of nearly 200 local reporters.
Our newsroom has won multiple Pulitzers, Polks and Loebs reporting how money shaped — or distorted — our democracy, from exposing how the rich and powerful effectively purchased sleepovers in the White House, exploited offshore tax havens in the Panama Papers and created powerful interest groups that have stalled efforts to protect our environment and health.
We are up to the challenge of spotlighting how our country’s growing inequality threatens our democracy, shrinking our middle class and leaving many Americans behind.
Regardless of shifting political sands, this is the story that needs telling. And we aim to do it.