Third Way Statement on the Launch of White House Middle Class Task Force
Washington, DC – “We applaud President Obama for launching the Middle Class Task Force and making it a high priority by naming Vice President Biden as its chairman. Both the President and Vice President understand that the middle class is the engine of our economy and that when the middle class succeeds, the nation succeeds.
“The Vice President is the perfect choice to lead this effort. During his years in the Senate, no one fought harder and better understood the aspirations and anxieties of the middle class than Joe Biden.
“As we wrote in a report we released in October 2008, over the last eight years, the typical middle class family’s lost an average of $97,310, compared to the previous eight years. That includes a cumulative loss of nearly $60,000 in income and nearly $25,000 in retirement savings. Meanwhile, the typical cost of a four-year degree at a public college or university increased by $7,290 in real dollars.
“And yet, during those difficult years, many middle-class families didn’t get the help they needed from government. Too wealthy for Pell grants, the EITC, SCHIP or other programs, yet not wealthy enough to benefit from conservative trickle-down policies, they have fallen through a ‘donut hole’ in economic policy. For the new administration – and in particular, for the Biden Task Force – the existence of this gap in policy presents tremendous opportunities to break new ground with ideas that can help middle-class Americans succeed.
“This has been a devastating 8 years for middle class families. We know there are tough times ahead, but with the announcement today, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Third Way looks forward to working with the Middle Class Task Force, the Vice President and his team.”
Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212