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President’s plan helps families

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The good news is that our country has made substantial economic progress since President George W. Bush left office. At that time, we were hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs a month, the financial system was on the verge of collapse, and our deficit was $1.4 trillion.

The bad news is the middle class continues its 40-year decline. Millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages, and many of the new jobs are low-wage and part-time. With the top 0.1% owning as much wealth as the bottom 90%, and when virtually all new income goes to the top 1%, we have more wealth and income inequality than at any time since the 1920s.

OUR VIEW: Obama’s not entitled to ignore the deficit.

If we are serious about rebuilding the disappearing middle class and reducing income and wealth inequality, we need a budget that creates decent-paying jobs, raises wages, makes college more affordable and demands that the wealthiest pay their fair share. In all of these matters, President Obama’s budget moves us in the right direction.

At a time when our roads and bridges are crumbling, the president’s proposal to increase funding for infrastructure will make our country more productive and safer. It will also create millions of good jobs.

At a time when we need a well-educated workforce for a highly competitive global economy, the president’s plan to make the first two years of community college free is an important step forward in making college accessible for working class families.

At a time when almost all of the new income gains in recent years have gone to the top 1% and when corporate profits are at an all-time high, the president’s effort to end egregious corporate tax loopholes while providing tax breaks for working families is movement in the right direction.

And at a time when senior poverty is increasing, we must expand, not cut, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. As most Americans know, billionaire campaign contributors and corporate lobbyists exercise enormous influence in Washington, which is why the rich get richer while almost everyone else gets poorer. Enough is enough! Let’s join together and fight for a budget that helps working families, and not just the top 1%.

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President’s plan helps families