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The Middle Class Needs Help Now

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Despite President Obama's recent attempts to convince Americans he has turned our economy around, the truth is very different for middle-class families.

As Peter Wehner notes in YG Network's Room To Grow, polling shows that twice as many Americans feel that "members of the middle class have less, rather than more, opportunity to get ahead than their parents' generation," while a strong, 59-percent majority are concerned they will fall out of their present economic class in the near future.

Unfortunately, working middle-class families have good reason for concern: our stagnant economy is not only impeding their progress, but making it much tougher to maintain their tenuous foothold in middle-class life.

A statistical analysis featured in Monday's Wall Street Journal reveals some startling facts:

America's middle class "has seen its average income decline to $62,464 from $65,672. More than half of this decline has occurred since the recovery officially began in the second quarter of 2009," while "[u]nder the Obama administration, the median income of women has fallen more during the recovery than it did during the recession, an unprecedented economic failure in postwar America."

The analysis also reveals that the "real median income for African-American households has fallen by 9.5%, more than any other major census classification," while the incomes of Hispanic Americans have plummeted as well, declining every year since 2008 to a point lower than at any time since the Carter Administration.

Meanwhile the costs of middle-class life continue to rise. Reuters reports that an "average middle-income family in the United States can expect to spend about $245,000 over 18 years to raise a child born in 2013," according to research from the USDA, as child-raising costs continue to outpace inflation. And the rising costs of things like healthcare, education, and energy are squeezing working families even further.

Americans are struggling to keep up with these higher costs, because, as the Washington Post recently noted, higher wages "have not yet materialized."

So while the president and his acolytes continue to pat their own backs, oblivious to the ill effects of their liberal policies, it's no wonder a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reveals that just 3 percent of Americans are "very satisfied" with the economy, while more than seven-in-ten believe we're on the wrong track under Obama.

The middle class needs help now. And it's clear that they can't look to the Left to provide the relief they need.

That's why YG Network is continuing to press leaders to take up our conservative reform agenda, a set of principled, workable policies focused on growing our economy, helping middle-class Americans achieve the economic security they need so badly, and providing the opportunity for more low-income Americans to rise into the middle class.

While Obamacare continues to saddle hardworking Americans with higher costs and threaten their coverage, reform-minded conservatives have a plan to lower health care costs while actually improving access and quality.

While big-government liberals continue to espouse growth-killing tax hikes, conservative reformers are advocating smart tax reforms that will strengthen the economy and lighten the burdens families bear, so they can regain their footing once again. And while liberals' over-taxing, over-regulating agenda has held job-growth back, we're putting forth new ideas to tackle long-term unemployment, get Americans working again, reform broken and outdated safety-net programs, and give working families the flexibility they need to balance work and family.

Meanwhile, we've got plans to tackle the runaway costs of higher education, and strengthen K-12 education so our kids are prepared to seize the opportunities offered to them by a growing economy.

Conservative columnist Byron York, writing in the upcoming edition of Foreign Affairs, credits reform conservatives for our laser-like focus on addressing pressing middle-class challenges, and for "launch[ing] the most extensive rethinking of conservative policy in a generation." And Senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and other dynamic conservative leaders are embracing these new, forward-looking ideas.

As principled conservatives continue to unite under the banner of reform, our true test will be whether we can make our proposals reality, and create a brighter future for hardworking people throughout our country. With the pain being felt by middle-class families under President Obama and his misguided agenda, it's clear that our work is urgent, and our success can't come quickly enough.

 
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