Is the Middle Class Collapsing?
Senator Elizabeth Warren believes the middle class is in jeopardy.
BY: Corine Gatti
Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren believes the middle class is in jeopardy. About 30 years ago the U.S. changed directions by increasing loopholes for corporate America that’s contributed to the anemic middle class writes Elizabeth Warren, the first female Senator of Massachusetts.
According to the nonpartisan group Citizens for Tax Justice, 26 Fortune 500 companies paid no taxes from 2008 through 2012, while the rate on paper was 35 percent. Verizon, AT&T, IBM, General Electric, and Wells Fargo had $77 billion in tax breaks over a five-year period. Wells Fargo topped out subsidies of $21.6 billion.
America’s middle class is no longer the most affluent in the world, but behind Canada. Canadian after-tax income has increased, and the country made up for jobs lost in 2008.
It’s time to shift the focus on the people, not the powerful in Washington.
“The impact of these policies has echoed through the economy. Big banks, powerful corporations and billionaires -- people who can afford to hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers -- have amassed more and more wealth. Meanwhile, the foundations of our once strong middle class have begun to crumble, and families have been caught in a terrible squeeze,” the Oklahoma native wrote in her CNN commentary.
Warren won a seat in the Senate in 2010, defeating incumbent Republican Scott Brown in 2012, and details her Washington journey in the memoir A Fighting Chance. A former Harvard law professor, Warren, was interested in studying the reasons people go bankrupt and was invited to advise Congress on rewriting the laws.
“No one is asking for a handout. All we want is a country where everyone pays a fair share, a country where we build opportunities for all of us, a country where everyone plays by the same rules and everyone is held accountable. And we have begun to fight for it. I believe in what we can do together, in what we will do together. All we need is a fighting chance.”
The grandmother has made it her mission to campaign for the middle class by going after large corporations, and encouraging more investment into children, technology and infrastructure.
“We can repair the cracks in the middle class. We can strengthen our foundations and make sure that all of our children have a fighting chance. But it means changing who Washington works for, and doesn't.”
Warren repeatedly said she will not run for president in 2016 as rumors have circulated."I'm not running for president and I plan to serve out my term," she she told the press in December.