February 8, 1993 |
During his presidential campaign, Bill Clinton promised a middle class tax cut and claimed to oppose a higher gasoline tax because it would be unfair to ordinary people. Yet, two weeks into his presidency he has not only backed away from the middle class tax cut, but he is warming up to an across-the- board energy tax that includes gasoline. Clinton's campaign pledge apparently even fooled his energy secretary, Hazel O'Leary, who during her recent confirmation hearings asserted that such broad energy taxes would definitely not be imposed.
September 6, 1988 |
Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis yesterday formally kicked off his fall campaign by accusing the Reagan-Bush administration of squeezing the middle class and favoring the wealthy with its economic policies. His vice presidential running mate, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, echoed the same theme at a rally in his home state of Texas, painting the Republicans as an uncaring party of the rich who "like to wrap themselves in the American flag. " In a Labor Day speech designed to appeal to hard-pressed middle-income voters who hold the key to victory, Dukakis promised he would "bring prosperity home to every home in every neighborhood in America.
December 7, 2011 |
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. - With a nod to Theodore Roosevelt, President Obama positioned himself as the champion of the middle class while blasting the "you're-on-your-own economics" of the modern Republican Party, a message likely to form the basis of his reelection effort. The White House chose what seemed like an unlikely site for Obama's speech, a small town in deeply Republican Kansas. To Obama's advisers, it was the ideal place to deliver an argument they had spent weeks crafting, one that they hope will help him appeal to a key bloc.
April 17, 2011
Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele have embarked on an update of their 1991 "America: What Went Wrong?" project, which was published in The Inquirer. Through a collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, The Inquirer will run pieces from the new project, "What Went Wrong: The Betrayal of the American Dream," over the coming year. For more on the project, visit http://americawhatwentwrong.org/ Here are their responses to our questions: Question: You recently announced that you will be revisiting the "America: What Went Wrong?"
August 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The middle class is receiving less of America's total income, its smallest share in decades, as median wages stagnate and wealth concentrates at the top. A study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center highlights diminished hopes, too, for the roughly 50 percent of adults defined as middle class, with household incomes ranging from $39,000 to $118,000. The report describes this mid-tier group as suffering its "worst decade in modern history," falling backward in income for the first time since the end of World War II. Three years after the recession technically ended, middle-class Americans are still feeling the economic pinch, with most saying they have been forced to reduce spending in the last year.
July 20, 2011
YOU DON'T NEED to watch "Mad Men" to know that the 1950s and '60s fell short of being a Golden Age for everyone - except that it was the era of America's greatest invention: the vast middle class. On Monday, Bob Herbert - the former New York Times columnist now a senior fellow at Demos, a national policy center - introduced a report that suggested that America's greatest invention is breaking down. Data collected by Demos and the Keystone Research Center provides evidence on paper that most middle Americans already know from experience: Just keeping what you have is a struggle; moving up is next to impossible.
November 21, 1991 |
In town for a banquet last week, Douglas Wilder held an informal news conference, and tried out some of the points and positions that will evolve into a "stump" speech in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. What the Virginia governor said sounded good, polished in the include-many- exclude-few populist style that seems to be taking hold in politics: Fiscal responsibility and compassion . . . cutting taxes and eliminating waste . . . putting the priorities of the American people first . . . Creating a new mainstream that brings people together instead of pulling them apart . . . Middle class Americans are sick and tired of bearing the tax burden . . . He was glib, smooth and sincere - that's the Wilder style.
July 16, 1986 |
Leaders of the tax-revision effort in Congress seem agreed on at least one basic point: Middle-income taxpayers should get more of a tax cut than envisioned in the Senate-passed version of the legislation. But there is little agreement on what constitutes the middle class or where lawmakers could find the money to finance a larger tax reduction for it. Part of the problem for the tax writers stems from the large size of the American middle class and the fact that a bigger tax cut for its members could add to the federal budget deficit.
June 18, 1986
Some people judge the U.S. income tax proposal by how it affects them personally. Their deductions are eminently justified, but the other person's deduction is a sinister loophole. What is most important is what is best for most Americans, which is lower tax rates and elimination of deductions that lead to nonproductive activity and cheating. Dave B. Olim Ambler.
November 15, 2011 |
ELECTION DAY has made it official: The biggest winner this season wasn't on the ballot. With the election of family friend Mark Squilla to the 1st Council District, and longtime righthand man Bobby Henon to the 6th District seat, Electricians' Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty now has a direct line to officials who represent about one out of every four Philadelphians. To Dougherty's critics, this is a frightening prospect. Everyone who follows our city's politics, including Dougherty himself, is aware of his reputation as a backroom dealer and leader of what the press and bloggers routinely call a "thuggish" political operation.