New Obama Advisor Podesta Started Income Inequality Think Tank a Month Earlier

James Beattie
By James Beattie | December 10, 2013 | 9:22 PM EST

Former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta is returning to the White House to advise President Obama, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).  Podesta launched the latest project of the left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP) last month entitled The Washington Center for American Growth, which focuses on income inequality.

The American Growth website lists Podesta as its chairman and describes the new center's mission:

"The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a new research and grantmaking organization founded to accelerate cutting-edge analysis into whether and how structural changes in the U.S. economy, particularly related to economic inequality, affect growth."

The Obama Administration has recently focused on income inequality and the minimum wage.  President Obama gave a comprehensive speech on the topic last week., the blogging arm of CAP, released an opinion piece before Obama gave his "income equality" speech calling for the minimum wage to catch up with inflation:

"If the minimum wage had grown at the same rate as the earnings of the top one percent of Americans the federal wage floor would be more than triple the current hourly minimum of $7.25. Instead, the minimum wage has been lower than a poverty wage ever since 1982."

The piece continues:

"The stagnation and collapse of minimum wage purchasing power has helped drive the divergence between the wealthiest and poorest segments of the U.S. workforce. As minimum-wage jobs have provided less and less stable economic footing for working people, the wealthiest sliver of the country has seen astronomical gains in their compensation. If instead the federal minimum wage had grown at the same rate as one-percenter earnings, it would sit at $22.62 per hour today - 212 percent higher than the current wage floor."

Podesta served as Chief of Staff under President Clinton from 1998-2001, and founded CAP in 2003.