From day one, President Obama has been committed to getting our economy back on track, strengthening the middle class, and making sure everyone willing to work has the opportunity to climb the ladder out of poverty. There is much more to do to and, as President Obama has said, “We need to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to lifting our families and our communities out of poverty.”
Take a look at how President Obama has worked to help struggling Americans tread the worst of the recession and work their way into the middle class:
7 million families kept out of poverty in 2010: President Obama signed into law provisions that kept 7 million people out of poverty and increased the incomes of 32 million people in poverty in 2010, and lifted millions more out of poverty in 2011.
64,000 additional children have access to child care: President Obama expanded Head Start and Early Head Start to reach an additional 64,000 children and families. The program now serves 968,000—the highest service level in the history of the program.
Nearly 10 million undergraduates are getting college scholarships: By doubling funding for Pell Grants and raising the maximum award, President Obama increased the number of low-and middle-income students receiving support by about 50 percent to nearly 10 million students.
But Mitt Romney’s economic plan reveals his starkly different approach to supporting struggling families. Here’s a look at what the Romney-Ryan plan would mean for middle-class and low-income Americans:
Eliminate tax cuts that benefit 25 million working families: Romney hasn’t mentioned any tax benefits he’d cut for wealthy taxpayers, but he has said he’d eliminate the President’s college tax credit and his expansions to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which reduced the marriage penalty and kept 7 million families out of poverty in 2010. Altogether, these three tax cuts save 25 million families an average of $1,000.
Drastic spending cuts to programs that support low-income families: The Romney-Ryan budget plan would only achieve deficit reduction by drastically slashing programs that help the most vulnerable. Almost two-thirds of their deep spending cuts would come from health, nutrition, and education programs—cuts that could leave 50 million Americans without health coverage, 8 to 10 million Americans without nutrition assistance, 200,000 low-income children without access to Head Start, and 10 million college students with $1,000 less in scholarships.
No health coverage for 50 million people: Romney has promised to repeal Obamacare, which would force millions of young people off their parent’s insurance plans and deprive millions more of the opportunity to gain coverage starting in 2014, and slash Medicaid after turning it into a block grant program.
It’s not surprising that Romney refuses to talk about the specifics behind his economic plan. When it comes to making sure Americans have the opportunity to climb the ladder out of poverty into the middle class, the choice could not be more clear.