Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

There's not much policy in Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential race kickoff video, and so this line, delivered by the candidate herself, stands out: "Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top."

It stands out because it signals that Clinton will be running a campaign not just about helping the middle class get ahead - which has quickly become the consensus message of Republican and Democratic hopefuls alike - but about rebalancing the American economy so that it doesn't deliver so many of its spoils to the wealthy. That's an inequality argument, not just a middle-class argument, and it will require Clinton to reckon with her husband's presidential legacy.

Inequality got worse under Bill Clinton, not better. That's true if you look at the share of American incomes going to the 1 percent, per economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty:


It's also true when you look at the share of American wealth going to the super-super-rich, the top 0.1%, per research by Saez and Gabriel Zucman:

Source: Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez,

Those calculations appear to confirm that the deck has become more and more stacked, in America, in favor of the folks at the top. They also suggest that the stacking got worse in the boom days of the 1990s under Bill Clinton, which most Americans remember favorably.

One of the big policy challenges for Hillary Clinton in this campaign will be diagnosing why that happened -- and convincing voters that things would be different, if she were president.

Hillary Rodham Clinton officially launched her presidential campaign on Sunday. The announcement began with a video and a tweet. (YouTube/Hillary Clinton)