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Issue Position: Strengthening the Middle Class

Issue Position

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Hillary has a plan to restore America's middle class. After six and a half years of Bush administration policies, the middle class is struggling to succeed in an economy that is leaving more and more Americans behind.

Income inequality has risen to the highest levels since 1929, and wages have stagnated. In the meantime, health care premiums and college tuition have skyrocketed, squeezing middle class families who have largely relied on their home equity to make ends meet. The burgeoning problems in the housing market further threaten many middle class families.

Understanding that a vibrant middle class is essential to America's prosperity, Hillary will implement a broad set of policies to once again restore opportunity for all Americans.

Hillary's economic blueprint to restore the American middle class includes:

* Lowering taxes for middle class families.

* Providing quality, affordable health care to every American.

* Making college accessible and affordable.

* Confronting the growing problems in the housing market.

* Bolstering retirement security by promoting savings and investment.

* Returning to fiscal responsibility and moving towards balanced budgets.

* Harnessing innovation to create the high-wage jobs of the 21st century.

* Creating a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund to jumpstart research and development of alternative energies.

* Strengthening unions and ensuring our trade laws work for all Americans.

As president, Hillary will:

1. Lower taxes for middle class families by: extending the middle class tax cuts including child tax credit and marriage penalty relief, offering new tax cuts for healthcare, college and retirement, and expanding the EITC and the child care tax credit.

2. Harness the power of innovation to create high wage jobs of the 21st Century. Investments in alternative energy can create new jobs for the 21st century; expanded access to broadband will bring opportunities to underserved and disadvantaged communities; the manufacturing base can be re-energized through creative partnerships; and increased government support for research will stimulate the development of new technologies and life-saving medicines. Hillary will restore integrity to science policy, reversing Bush administration policies that are holding our nation back.

3. Empower our workers and ensure that all Americans contribute their fair share. Hillary will ensure that unions, which have played an important role in forming and sustaining the middle class, are strong. She will also ensure that trade policies work for average Americans. Trade policy must raise our standard of living, and they must have strong protections for workers and the environment.

4. Restore the basic bargain. Hillary will restore the basic bargain that if Americans work hard and take responsibility, government will do its part to make sure they have the tools to get ahead.

5. Return to fiscal responsibility. After six and a half year of President Bush's fiscal irresponsibility, Hillary wants America to regain control of its destiny. She will move back toward a balanced budget and surpluses. Hillary believes that we should develop a set of budget rules similar to those we had in the 90s which required us to fund new expenditures with new revenues or cuts in other areas.

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