DNC Chairman Tim Kaine's Statement on President Obama's Initiatives to Invest in Middle Class Families and Help Them Get Ahead

Jan 25, 2010, 16:03 ET from Democratic National Committee

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after the President and Vice President held a meeting of the Middle Class Task Force today and laid out new initiatives that will help middle class families get ahead in this difficult economy.

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"A strong middle class has always been the backbone of America. And in these difficult times, middle class families have borne the burden of the recession. Families who have spent their lives working to build a bright future for their children have seen their savings dwindle away as they cope with soaring costs for child care, college tuition, and health care—all while folks struggle to hold on to their jobs.

"Today, the Middle Class Task Force proposed several new policy initiatives to help strengthen our economy and ease the burden on middle class families. These initiatives will help families caring for children and elderly dependents, students struggling with loan repayment and workers trying to save for retirement.

"Restoring a strong middle class is essential to strengthening our economy for the long-term. I want to thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for making working families a priority and for providing support for middle class workers as they struggle to care for their families and save for the future.

"The President and Democrats continue to fight for the middle class. As such, we must challenge Republicans who have worked for the past year in the same manner they did the previous decade -- standing up for oil companies, insurance companies, banks and Wall Street against the interests of middle class Americans. Republicans have stood with insurance companies against health reform, with banks against reforming the ways of Wall Street and with oil companies against energy reform. We will continue to press Republicans to see the value in making these investments in the middle class instead of continuing their lockstep movements with special interests to deny the middle class."

The recommendations of the Middle Class Task Force will:

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

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

5. 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.

SOURCE Democratic National Committee