Monday, January 25, 2010

Thurman Statement on President Obama's Initiatives To Help Struggling Middle Class Families Get Ahead

From FDP:

Continuing his effort to put Americans back to work and ease the economic hardship on America's families, President Barack Obama today laid out a five-point plan to help middle class families afford soaring child care costs, care for their aging relatives, save for retirement, and pay for college tuition. The initiatives are the result of the President's Middle Class Task Force led by Vice President Joe Biden, which held meetings across the nation about the best way to rebuild the economy and ease the economic burden on the middle class.

"As middle class Americans continue to struggle in this economy, President Obama and Vice President Biden are doing everything in their power to fight for them and help put Americans back to work, create jobs, and strengthen our economy for the long-term," said Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman. "These steps will help ease the burdens on middle class families who are struggling in this economy, and will provide the help families need to make ends meet. These common-sense initiatives will help families cope with the challenges they face and are a sign that the President and Vice President are taking seriously the burden middle class families face everyday."

"But while the President and Democrats have been putting the middle class first, Republicans like Sen. George LeMieux, Gov. Charlie Crist, and former Speaker Marco Rubio have made it clear they're on the side of the special interests, Wall Street, oil and health insurance companies. The Florida Democratic Party calls on Republicans to get on the side of working families and start working with us, but given their history, we're not expecting much."

The recommendations of the Middle Class Task Force will:

Reduce costs of child care by nearly doubling the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for families earning less than $85,000 per year and increasing child care funding by $1.6 billion, helping an additional 235,000 children.

Ease the burden of student loan payments by ensuring that no student pays more than 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance on loan repayment.

Help workers save for retirement by requiring employers to provide an option for employees to enroll in a direct-deposit IRA.

Protect retirement by expanding tax credits to match retirement savings and enact new protections on those savings.

Support families caring for elderly relatives, help them to manage this responsibility and allow seniors to live in their communities for as long as possible.

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