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Idea of the Day: How Policymakers Can Help the Middle Class Without Additional Expenditures

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Strengthening America’s middle class should be elected officials’ top priority. Incomes are either stagnant or falling for the middle class, while the costs of life’s necessities continue to rise. As a result, the risk of the middle class falling behind economically is growing. A weak middle class hurts all of us by stifling our country’s economic growth and undermining our democracy.

Unfortunately, reducing the deficit has distracted our political leaders from this pressing challenge and has made it seem like little can be done, as Congress blocked or failed to act on important legislation to help the middle class. In reality, however, there are many things that the federal government can do to help the middle class.

Rather than make excessive short-term budget cuts as we are currently doing, we can and should make needed investments in the middle class, such as expanding access to preschool and child care, as part of a package that reduces the deficit over the longer term, as CAP has proposed on many occasions. Furthermore, there are a number of things that policymakers can do that won’t require any additional expenditures.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here