Where The 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand On Income Inequality

The U.S.' inequality crisis has been one of the hottest topics of this presidential campaign, with Bernie Sanders gaining momentum due to national frustration over the issue.

It's hardly surprising that economic inequality is one of millennial women's top priorities, when in 2014, the financial industry's bonuses alone were more than twice the total combined income of workers earning the federal minimum wage, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.

According to a Refinery29/ABC News poll, 21% of women ages 18 to 35 say income inequality is the most important issue to them in this election — tied with student loans for the top issue polled. Millennial women share their views on the issue in the video above.

Ahead, a look at where this year's crop of presidential candidates stand on the issue. For more on the issues that matter most to millennial women, check out the Refinery29/ABC News Vote Your Values poll here.

Donald Trump

Photo: Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images.

Where He Stands: Donald Trump hasn't spoken much about income inequality in particular, but his comprehensive tax reform plan does include tax relief for low-income Americans. By the Trump tax plan, single adults who earn less than $25,000 a year, or married adults who jointly earn less than $50,000 a year, won't owe income taxes. Trump's campaign site claims that his tax plan includes "reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich," but there's not much detail about how, exactly, he would do that.

In His Words: "In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages."

Ted Cruz

Photo: Scott Olson/ Getty Images.
Where He Stands: In 2015, Cruz claimed that "the top 1% earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928," suggesting that President Barack Obama's policies have furthered income inequality in the U.S. Cruz has proposed a flat tax plan and the abolishment of the IRS.

In His Words: "I chuckle every time I hear Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton talk about income inequality, because it's increased dramatically under their policies," Cruz said in January 2015.

John Kasich

Photo: Luke Sharrett/ Bloomberg/ Getty Images.
Where He Stands: Kasich cited Ohio's Earned Income Tax Credit initiative as an example of his plan to "give people at the bottom the incentives to be able to work more and not be punished for being more successful," in an interview with Iowa Public Radio's Ben Kieffer in September. He also said to Kieffer that he doesn't support "a redistribution of wealth" in the U.S.

In His Words: "I think that income inequality is related to skills, I don't think it's fundamentally related to tax policy," Kasich told Kieffer.

Hillary Clinton

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/ Getty Images.
Where She Stands: Clinton has positioned herself as a champion of the middle class throughout her campaign. She's proposed increasing wages for the middle class as well as increasing tax rates for the wealthy. Clinton also supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12 from $7.25.

In Her Words: "I believe we have to build a growth-and-fairness economy," Clinton said in July. "You can't have one without the other."

Bernie Sanders

Photo: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images.
Where He Stands: Income inequality is the cornerstone of Sanders' presidential campaign. Sanders consistently criticizes the country's millionaires and billionaires, arguing that they don't deserve "huge tax breaks while children all over this country go hungry." Sanders also supports increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

In His Words: "99% of all new income generated today goes to the top 1%. The top one-tenth of 1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%," Sanders said in May 2015. "Does anybody think that that is the kind of economy this country should have? Do we think it's moral?"


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