12/16/2011 06:18 pm ET | Updated Feb 15, 2012

Arianna On 'Morning Joe': 'Squeezing Of The Middle Class' Is Country's Biggest Crisis

On Friday, Arianna Huffington joined New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and economist Jeffrey Sachs to discuss America's shrinking middle class on 'Morning Joe.'

Cohost Willie Geist prompted the panelists with numbers from a recent Census report, which showed that nearly half of Americans have fallen into poverty.

"We now have 1.6 million children that are homeless, and 5.6 million children living in poverty," Arianna said about the survey, remarking that the increase had occurred during a Democratic administration, a sign that no president is able to confront the country's starkest challenges.

"It's not about right and left, it's not about Democrats and Republicans, because whoever is in power right now, we still cannot deal with the biggest crisis we're having, which is the squeezing of the middle class and downward mobility -- 100 million people today are worse off than their parents were."

Friedman said that America's priorities are out of wack with prevailing economic trends around the globe.

"If you look at the biggest trends in the world right now," he said, "the fact that we're in the third high-tech revolution, the hyperconnectivity going on, the fact that we've got companies thriving at that, but so many people left behind by it -- that to me should be at the centerpiece of our discussion, and it's simply not."

As for solutions to the country's crisis, the panelists proposed a new stimulus package (Friedman), more taxes for the wealthy (Sachs) and a re-emphasis on the need for growth to solve the deficit crisis (Arianna).

Watch the whole segment below:

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