Throughout my life, the "American Dream" has been a middle class reality. In fact, I think most people throughout the country consider themselves "middle class."
So what exactly does it mean to be middle class? To me, it is the ability to create a safe home for our family, with healthy food on the table, and room to play and grow for our kids. It is the ability to give our children quality educational opportunities. It means securing good health care, while at the same time being able to save for a secure retirement. At its root, it is waking up every day with a level of confidence, believing that today is gift and that tomorrow is full of promise.
Yet statistics show what all of us feel: the middle class is shrinking.
As a member of Congress, I believe my first responsibility is to be a strong voice for restoring our middle class, while making sure we maintain robust safety nets for the most vulnerable among us. It means working every day to promote common sense policy that creates jobs, improves educational opportunities, enhances health care, ensures clean air and water, and maintains the United States security and prosperity at home and abroad.
We Must Also Address our Mortgage Crisis
I believe owning a home is a part of the American dream for many people. I also believe that home ownership leads to strong communities, better schools, and ultimately a better country.
Yet in some areas of the Tenth District we are experiencing high foreclosure rates three years into the crisis. Many more people are "under water" on their home mortgages. I believe more can, and should be done for those that work hard, play by the rules, and made prudent, responsible decisions to purchase a home. Government and banks need to work together with these homeowners to allow them to stay in their homes.
We also need to seek ongoing opportunities to get people on the path to buying homes again and bringing health back to a critical homebuliding sector of our economy.