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Posts tagged ‘Middle class’

Portman: Senate GOP Jobs Plan Will Restore Economy.


A seven-point plan proposed by Senate Republicans will spark economic recovery in the United States, reduce unemployment rates, and help tighten the gap between wealthy and poor people, Sen. Rob Portman says in this week’s GOP address.

The Jobs for America Plan, the Ohio Republican said Saturday, “starts by getting government out of the way where we need to, whether it’s healthcare, regulations, or taxation.”

Experts said five years ago the recession had ended, but for millions of people, the nation’s economic downturn has continued.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Story continues below video.

“We’re living through the weakest economic recovery since World War II, and a lot of folks are struggling to make ends meet,” said Portman. “Unemployment remains stubbornly high; the number of long-term unemployed is actually at record levels.”

“The wealthy are doing just fine in the Obama economy,” said Portman. But declining paychecks and with rising costs of healthcare, college education and even a tank of gas, “this middle class squeeze is strangling the American Dream.”

He pointed out out that 11 million Americans have given up looking for work altogether, and the average family is “now bringing home $4,000 less than they did just five years ago.

The Obama administration’s policies aren’t working, said Portman, because “Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress believed we could spend our way to prosperity, and I guess they still do.”

But despite some saying that “fewer people working, smaller middle-class paychecks, bigger government, never-ending deficits and record debt piled on our kids and grandkids” is the “new normal,” Portman said it’s time to trust the American people again.

“That’s what’s at the heart of Jobs for America, a seven-point plan put forward by Senate Republicans to bring back opportunity, spark an economic recovery and restore to every American a shot at the American Dream,” said Portman. “It starts by getting government out of the way where we need to, whether it’s healthcare, regulations, or taxation.

For example, said Portman, it’s clear to “just about everybody, maybe except the president” that Obamacare isn’t working.

“Let’s replace Obamacare with reforms that put you back in charge of your own healthcare,” said Portman. “Decisions about your health should be between you and your doctor, not a bureaucrat and an insurance company. Let’s expand choice, rather than limiting it. Let’s create jobs, instead of destroying them. And let’s bring down the costs instead of driving them up.”

Bureaucracy and red tape are also hindering businesses and making it harder for them to create jobs, and Portman said Republicans have “proposed changes that will ensure that the benefits of regulations are worth the cost – that regulations do their job, without costing you yours.”

The nation’s tax code is also a problem, said Portman. It’s not just that it’s a “complex and expensive mess” that needs to be simplified, but also that “our out-of-date and inefficient corporate tax code is driving opportunity and investment overseas, creating jobs in other places that should be right here in America. Let’s fix the code so that every company pays its fair share while bringing those dollars back to our shores to expand plant, equipment, and jobs.”

Taxes should also be spent wisely, said Portman, and lawmakers need to “pass a balanced budget amendment to rein in the runaway, big government spending that drives our deficits.”

The United States also needs to expand overseas markets, said Portman. There are some trade agreements on hold for now, but the nation needs to be sure it is competing on a level playing field. This calls for giving the president the authority to open more markets for farmers and workers.

“We want to see people around the world buying products that are stamped, ‘Made in America,’ so we can create more jobs right here at home,” said Portman.

Jobs can also be created by making the “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that is often discussed come through.

“We should wage a war on inefficiency, but not a war on coal,” said Portman. “We should expand all forms of American energy, including through offshore drilling and developing our shale natural gas. And let’s finally approve the Keystone Pipeline to create jobs and speed the day when North America will truly be energy independent.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Portman also said Americans should be able to acquire the skills they need to get jobs that are available.

“The federal government now runs 47 different, often overlapping, workforce-training programs, but they aren’t closing the skills gap,” said Portman, because they have too much bureaucracy.

“America’s best days can be ahead of us, just beyond the next horizon,” said Portman. “We just have to reapply some of the principles that have made America that beacon of hope and opportunity for the rest of the world.”


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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

NYT/CBS News Poll: GOP Has Edge in 2014 Midterm Elections.


The Republican Party is the favorite among Americans in an early look at the 2014 midterm elections, with a higher percentage of people saying they would back the GOP over the Democrats.

According to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted Feb. 19-23, 42 percent of people say they plan to support the GOP in November, compared to 39 percent who say they will back the Democrats. Republicans, according to the survey, are benefiting from the support of independents.

“Even though the [Republican] party itself is deeply divided and most Americans agree more with Democratic policy positions…Republicans hold their edge despite the fissures in their party,” the Times reported.

The survey of 1,644 also found that 59 percent of respondents are disappointed with the Obama presidency, compared to 40 percent who are satisfied.

The president’s approval rating has also dipped 4 points since last month to its worst standing in the past two years, with the exception of a CBS News survey in November just after the botched roll-out of Obamacare.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job the president is doing compared to 41 percent who approve.

“Such ratings amount to an early political alarm for Democrats on the ballot this year. When a party controls the White House, its performance in midterm congressional elections typically tracks closely to the popularity of the sitting president in the fall,” the Times says.

A massive majority of Americans are also deeply dissatisfied with Congress with 79 percent saying they are unhappy about the way things are going in the nation’s capital, including three in 10 who say they are angry, CBS News reports.

A majority of Americans surveyed also said they want both parties to do more to address the concerns of the middle class, reduce the budget deficit with both tax increases and spending cuts, and let illegal immigrants stay in the country and apply for citizenship, according to the Times.

The poll also indicated that that the Affordable Care Act appears to have solidified some opposition to Democrats, while historical trends such as an older, whiter midterm electorate are also favorable to Republicans, the Times reports.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

Obama to Pitch Ideas in Speech for Spurring ‘Upward Mobility’.


President Barack Obama will urge the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to do more to help poor and middle-class Americans move up the economic ladder.

Both Obama and congressional Republicans view that issue as a high priority, a rare point of agreement between the two sides. But the Democratic president and Republicans disagree on the remedies, setting up a debate that Obama will discuss in his State of the Union address to Congress.

In the speech, scheduled for 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Obama will push an agenda for increasing economic upward mobility and propose aid to the long-term unemployed, an increase in the minimum wage and an expansion of early-childhood education.

After Obama’s speech, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, will deliver a response on behalf of her party. She will likely emphasize free-market ideas for improving prosperity.

Senator Marco Rubio and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, two Republicans who are both seen as potential 2016 presidential candidates, spoke this month on proposals for helping people climb out of economic hardship.

Rubio has suggested shifting responsibility for many federal benefit programs to the states. Ryan has floated the idea of providing a single benefit to low-income families, modeled on one in Great Britain.

The problem of economic stagnation is expected to be a theme in congressional election campaigns this year.

Analysts said social mobility was a potent political issue because the United States has long seen itself as a place where anyone with grit and determination can succeed.

In recent years, however, the wages of many low- and middle-income workers have held steady or fallen on an inflation-adjusted basis. The slow growth after the 2007-2009 recession has exacerbated this trend.

At the same time, the wealthiest and most highly educated Americans, referred to as the “1 percent,” have grown more prosperous.

 

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concern about studies showing that economic mobility in the United States lags that of some other industrialized economies, calling into question the nation’s reputation as a land of opportunity.

More than 40 percent of American men born into the poorest one-fifth of earners remain there, a 2006 study led by Finnish economist Markus Jantti showed. In Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, only about 25 percent of such men stay in that income segment.

American sons of low-income fathers are more likely to remain stuck in the bottom tenth of earners as adults than are Canadian sons, University of Ottawa economist Miles Corak said in a study published in 2010. In the United States, 22 percent of men born to low-income families stayed in that category, while the same was true of only 16 percent of Canadians.

In 2012, former U.S. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger published a study that linked income inequality with low levels of upward mobility. He devised a chart he named “The Great Gatsby Curve” after the fabulously wealthy protagonist of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It showed the United States toward the upper end of the range of both inequality and low economic mobility, along with Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. At the opposite extreme, with low inequality and high mobility, were Denmark, Norway and Finland.

A study from a group led by Harvard University economist Raj Chetty added a new wrinkle to the debate with its finding that American children’s chances of moving up the economic ladder had not changed much in the past few decades. The study also made clear that children’s prospects were tightly linked to their parents’ socio-economic status – more so in the United States than in some other leading economies.

“It’s not so much that we’re losing the American dream,” said Harvard economist Nathaniel Hendren, one of the study’s authors. “It’s did we ever have it, and do we want it?”

The focus on economic mobility builds on a pledge Obama has emphasized over the past two years: to improve the standing and security of the middle class.

The theme is newer for Republicans, who failed to capture the White House in 2012 in part because many voters perceived their party’s candidate, Mitt Romney, as dismissive of the struggles of the poor and working classes.

But analysts say a promise to boost economic mobility could resonate across the ideological spectrum.

“The idea of the United States being exceptional in its ability to promote economic opportunity or the notion of the nation being suited to help people rise is very much part of our national ethos,” said Erin Currier, director of economic mobility for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Americans feel strongly that the United States should be the land of opportunity.”

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obamacare Delivers Staggering Knockout Blow To Middle Class.


“And here’s what you need to know. First, I will not sign a health care plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period” – Barack Obama, September 9, 2009

The hard, cold reality of Obamacare is that it adds $6,200,000,000,000.00 to our national deficit. One of the largest, most impactful laws ever to be passed in American history, and it is 100% based upon a lie.

The Week: ObamaCare has delivered another sucker punch to the middle class. This time it’s sticker shock. Now that most people can get past the tech problems of HealthCare.gov and actually see the real cost of insurance plans available, they are finding that Affordable Care is a big hit to the family budget. And when the family budget gets hit in the solar plexus, guess what happens to consumer spending and the economy?

obamacare-sticker-shock-obama

In California, policies for about 900,000 Californians are being canceled because of ObamaCare’s mandates, and about two-thirds of these do not qualify for subsidies, according to The Chicago Tribune. The result: These folks will be paying higher premiums.

In Alabama, premiums have doubled for some middle-class families, like that of Courtney Long, a stay-at-home mother of four. She told WHNT News, “It’s devastating. I started crying.”

“I mean, we have worked so hard to get out of credit card debt, get ahead on the car loan, transfer our mortgage to a 15- from a 30-year mortgage… and for what?”

In Tennessee, GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander issued an analysis of a White House report and found the following:

    • Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month — a 190 percent increase.
    • Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month — a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.
    • Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy.
    • In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.

In Washington state, ObamaCare will increase the underlying cost of individually purchased health insurance by 34 to 80 percent on average, according to Forbes.

The list goes on and on and includes Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina. But premiums are just the beginning. The deductibles are outrageous, too.

A recent article in The New York Times tells the story of Doug and Ginger Chapman, ages 55 and 54, a middle-class couple “sitting on the health care cliff.” Their annual income of around $100,000 a year makes them ineligible for a subsidy in New Hampshire (if they earned under $94,000, it would cut their costs by half). They have to replace their family insurance which includes the two of them and their two sons. The premium cost alone, not including any deductible, is $1,000 a month, or 12 percent of their income.

The Times‘ analysis found the following:

The cost of premiums for people who just miss qualifying for subsidies rises rapidly for people in their 50s and 60s. In some places, prices can quickly approach 20 percent of a person’s income. Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income. By that measure, a 50-year-old making $50,000 a year, or just above the qualifying limit for assistance, would find the cheapest available plan to be unaffordable in more than 170 counties around the country, ranging from Anchorage to Jackson, Miss. [The New York Times]

The other group that gets disproportionately hit is the young, according to Forbes. For a 40-year-old, the 2013 average deductible was $4,045, and the monthly cost increased 29 percent to $309. For a 64-year-old man, the monthly cost of a plan with a $3,494 deductible increased 64 percent to $806.

If even a fraction of the middle class and upper middle income earners divert some of their discretionary dollars to pay for health care, it will have a significant impact on consumer spending. What will that mean for the economy? Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the nation’s GDP, although experts say that number is likely to decline.

The top 20 percent of income earners account for about 40 percent of all spending in the U.S. When you increase the costs of health care and the new taxes associated with ObamaCare, you can hear the wallets closing. source – The Week.

by NTEB News Desk.

America Awakes To True Cost Of Obamacare Deception.


 

20131027-130717.jpg

Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don’t like what they see.

These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.

Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama’s signature legislation.
source – LA Times.

by NTEB News Desk

President Obama’s Agenda Fails the Middle Class.


As President Obama travels the country speaking about immigration, student loans, taxes and the like, increasingly Democratic leaders are lobbying him to tell voters how his agenda strengthens the middle class.

Editor’s NoteControversial Book Outs Obama’s Uncharted Economy

Otherwise Republicans, they fear, will use the IRS and other scandals to distract public attention and stall most of his legislative proposals.

Unfortunately, most of Mr. Obama’s initiatives may appease liberal elites but don’t do much to bolster opportunities for middle-class and working families.

His immigration policy comes down to spending record sums to deport undocumented immigrants with criminal records, but letting just about anyone else who manages to get across the border stay and have babies — presumably, who will one day vote Democratic.

If he gets his way in proposed legislation, many undocumented workers will eventually become citizens, and businesses like GE and Apple will be permitted more visas in skill-short areas like engineering, but the border won’t be secured. The ranks of semi-skilled immigrant workers, who drive down wages in hospitality, construction, manufacturing and other sectors, will continue to swell, frustrating the middle-class aspirations of the working poor born in this country.

His massive expansion of student loans permits universities to jack up tuition, bloat administrative staffs and indulge faculty to teach even less and less effectively. Students are graduating encumbered by massive debt and too few marketable skills. Broke and unemployed, they are not marrying and starting families — that shrinks the middle class.

Despite the availability of loans, skyrocketing tuition mandates ever-greater family contributions to finance college. This puts higher education further out of reach for many working-class families, and fewer low-income children are pursuing post-secondary education than in the past — that shrinks the middle class too.

Organized labor, academics and other progressives jealous of peers in business endlessly obsess about income redistribution and tax rates. The president has jacked up taxes on families earning more than $250,000.

Unfortunately, most businesses in America are either proprietorships or pass through corporations that pay those higher individual, as opposed to corporate, tax rates, raising the cost of investing and expanding businesses — that spells fewer jobs for the middle class and those who aspire to its ranks.

Unable to push through Congress limits on CO2 emissions, President Obama has used executive orders and the Environmental Protection Agency to impose limits by fiat. Unfortunately, those raise manufacturing costs, China has no such limits and all this encourages business to outsource in China — again fewer jobs for the middle class and aspiring middle class.

Free trade agreements that permit trading partners to undervalue their currencies, subsidize exports and artificially underprice their products on U.S. store shelves; healthcare mandates that raise the price of insuring employees instead of controlling costs; unnecessarily cumbersome regulations to run factories; mindless limits on developing U.S. oil reserves; and exporting abundant natural gas to countries that shut out U.S. products with high tariffs all encourage outsourcing, not just in manufacturing, but for many supporting services too — yet again, fewer jobs for middle-class Americans.

Editor’s Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself. 

Performance not polemics is the problem. His progressive agenda has accomplished 2.1 percent growth and an anemic job market since the economic recovery began.

In comparable circumstances, Ronald Reagan engineered 5 percent growth and many more middle-class jobs by rejecting the failed policies of the left and betting on Americans’ competitive instincts.

Democrats are asking too much of President Obama to explain how his agenda helps the middle class. There’s no there, there.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Peter Morici Twitter @pmorici1

Obama Begins ‘Jobs Tour’ This Week:


Image: Obama Begins 'Jobs Tour' This Week

By Courtney Coren

President Barack Obama plans to kick off what the White House is calling a “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour” in Austin, Texas Thursday to garner support for his economic proposals, The Hill reported Monday.

“The President’s trip will be similar to previous ‘White House to Main Street’ events that directly engage the American people and effectively pushed Congress to act,” The White House said in a statement. “Things are getting better, but our economic recovery is not as strong as it could be and far too many middle class families are struggling. The question is, will Congress join with the President to make sure the middle class is strong and secure?”

Obama has used public appeals in the past to gain support in Congress for his agenda items, such as extending the payroll tax cuts, lowering rates on student loans, and to reach an agreement on the “fiscal cliff” deal earlier this year.

However, when similar efforts were made to urge Congress to replace the sequester and gain support for infrastructure programs, it did little to help, The Hill noted.

Previous rally tours have led to criticism from Republican leaders, and this one is no exception.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner pointed to Obama policies on energy, taxes, and healthcare that Republicans say has put an additional strain on the economy.

“The economy is still Americans‘ top concern because the president’s policies keep making it harder to create jobs,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. “Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll hear much about any of those things during this road show.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obama uses State of the Union address to call for job creation, ‘smarter’ government.



(Jim Bourg/Reuters)

President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address Tuesday night to call for policies that create jobs and help the middle class to thrive without swelling the federal budget deficit.

In excerpts released by the White House, Obama called job creation and continued economic growth the “North Star that guides our efforts.” He asked, “How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?’

In a nod to concern about the federal debt and mounting budget shortfalls, Obama insisted his initiatives would be fully paid for: “Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”

Obama was set to address a joint meeting of Congress at 9 p.m. ET.

Source. YAHOO NEWS.

By Beth Fouhy | The Ticket

Obama urges political cooperation, uplift of middle class.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama called for a focus on the prosperity of the middle class rather than the success of an elite few and urged politicians to set aside harsh partisan divides to address pressing economic problems.

America‘s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of the middle class,” Obama said on Monday in his inaugural address.

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect,” he said in his speech from Capitol Hill.

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

Biden: Tax Deal Can Be Done in Snap.


ARLINGTON, Va. – Vice President Joe Biden took seven middle-class taxpayers to lunch at a diner in suburban northern Virginia today, highlighting their concern about the looming tax hike that could hit at the end of the month.

“This is no time to add any additional burden for middle-class people,” Biden said, seated with his guests at a table after the meal had been cleared.

“It would take 15 minutes from the time the decision was made by the speaker of the House to pass and make permanent a middle-class tax cut,” he said. “The president would probably have me sprint up to the Hill to bring the bill down and to sign it.

“It can be done like that,” he said, with a snap of his fingers.

The White House has been pressuring lawmakers to enact a tax-cut extension immediately for 98 percent of Americans – individuals earning less than $200,000 a year and families earning less than $250,000 a year – a move that would refocus the “fiscal cliff” debate on top tax rates, entitlement spending and the debt ceiling.

Republicans oppose decoupling the middle-income tax cuts from the upper-income cuts, however, preferring to negotiate on an entire package deal.

Negotiations to avert the cliff have stalled over the administration’s insistence top rates must rise and power to raise the debt ceiling must shift to the White House.

“There are two irreducible minimum requirements for us,” Biden reiterated today, though he noted how much rates could rise is “negotiable.”

“I’m an optimistic [person], genetically,” Biden said, when asked for his outlook on having a deal by Dec. 31.

Earlier in the lunch, Biden also commented on today’s jobs report, saying, “I think we have turned the corner” on the economy.

“It’s undeniable the trajectory is positive,” he said.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Devin Dwyer | ABC OTUS News

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