Hillary Clinton Calls for Greater US Income Equality

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DEM 2016 Clinton
By Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Allen

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton put the fight for higher wages for everyday Americans at the heart of her economic agenda on Monday, in the first major policy speech of her White House bid.

Clinton said the U.S. economy will only run at full steam when middle-class wages rise steadily along with executive salaries and company profits."I believe we have to build a growth and fairness economy. You can't have one without the other," she said at The New School university in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, a bastion of liberal education.

With one eye on the growing support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who is also seeking the Democratic Party nomination, Clinton laid out a vision of economic equality.

"Corporate profits are at near-record highs and Americans are working as hard as ever but paychecks have barely budged in real terms. Families today are stretched in so many directions and so are their budgets," Clinton said.

The former secretary of state promised to push for a broader reform of the U.S. corporate tax code.

Clinton is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 presidential election but Sanders has drawn large crowds at campaign events.

She will unveil more specifics of her economic policy in a series of speeches in the coming weeks as Democrats seek more details of her plans on increasing the minimum wage, creating universal preschool and investing in infrastructure.

Putting some meat on the bones of her economic policy could divert the focus away from issues that are dragging on Clinton's popularity, including a controversy over her use of a private email account while she was President Barack Obama's secretary of state.

(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Howard Goller)
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