Opinion: Campaigns focus on middle class
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, June 16:
The middle class is getting lots of love on the campaign trail these days.
When he spoke at Cuyahoga Community College's Metro Campus on Thursday, President Barack Obama declared that this election marks a "make-or-break moment for the middle class." Republican Mitt Romney said in New Hampshire on Friday that he's running to give "the middle class of America a fair shot."
It's hard to argue with those sentiments. ...
The collective impact of the recession that began in 2007 and turned into a full-blown meltdown in the fall of 2008 can be seen most starkly in figures released by the Federal Reserve. The central bank calculates that the median net worth of American families fell 39 percent — from $126,400 to $77,300 — between 2007 and 2010. Families were left roughly where they were two decades earlier.
So, yes, helping the middle class ought to be a central theme in this year's campaign. But so far, we have heard mostly warmed-over partisan bromides. ...
So instead of partisan wish lists, how about some common sense?
Obama needs to talk about reforming entitlements. Romney needs to acknowledge that a long-term plan to balance the budget will require more revenue. ...
A serious, results-oriented discussion might not excite their bases. But it just might accelerate the recovery the middle class needs so much more than rhetorical love.