2) Poverty: More than 46 million Americans — 15 percent of our population — now live at or below the federal poverty level, and the United States has one of the highest child poverty rates in the developed world. So why does Romney support a budget that takes 62 percent of its spending cuts from programs that help the poor? How would Obama protect the poor from spending cuts in any “grand bargain” deficit deal he might sign?
4) Mass transit: More Americans are using mass transit and driving less and less. But the U.S. mass transit system trails those of its peer nations, and fails to connect workers who need it most to their jobs. How would Romney square this increasing demand with his desire to cut funding for Amtrak? Does President Obama have any plans to push transit development beyond the infrastructure investments included in his never-passed American Jobs Act?
5) Income inequality: The level of inequality in the United States now rivals countries like Pakistan and the Ivory Coast. This inequality crushes economic mobility for America’s shrinking middle class and its growing number of working poor. Romney said that a focus on income inequality was “about envy” and said it should only be talked about in a quiet room. Does he view income inequality as a serious issue threatening the future of America’s economy, and if so, how do his policies address it? How would Obama bolster the lower- and middle classes and reduce the growth of inequality aside from increasing some tax rates on the richest Americans?