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Monday, May 2, 2016

From the Midway:Middle Class

Thursday, February 7, 2008

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This past week I have heard a lot a talk about the middle class. Apparently the middle class is struggling in today's economy and Congress and the White House are now trying to put together an "economic stimulus package" to help prevent a recession and put a little cash in our pockets.

Maybe the government is starting to realize that the middle class is not as strong as it used to be. I think that the stimulus package is just a band-aid on a much deeper wound.

There are a lot of problems facing the middle class right now - inflation on goods and utilities, high gas prices, decreasing benefits, college costs, bad mortgage rates, stagnant wages, outsourcing, immigration, insurance costs (health, auto and home), car payments and taxes are just a few of the burdens facing the middle class. No wonder people can't get ahead.

A broad definition of the middle class is someone who makes between $25,000 and $100,000 a year. They are not the rich and in most people's eyes the middle class have comfortable lives and are living the American dream of being married and owning a house, car and 3.5 kids.

Oh by the way, I always guessed the 0.5 is a pet, not half of a child.

It has always been my theory that the American people really don't ask for much - to own a home, to provide for their family, put their kids through college and have a decent retirement. Most people are happy to work for just that. In fact, I believe most people are OK with paying taxes. When taxes are used correctly it benefits everyone.

It does seem overwhelming to think about what we all pay in taxes. There are property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes and local option taxes. Maybe it wouldn't be so hard if we could actually save money and pay for things as we go along in life and not be so far in debt. Wouldn't it be great to buy a new car without having to finance it? Think about how much money we could save if we didn't have to pay any interest on a loan.

One free tip I would like to give you is, if you have any credit cards on you, take them out and cut them up immediately. A person should not be paying 30 percent interest on a loaf of bread. A loan shark would never think about charging that much in interest. He would think that is unfair and disgraceful.

To get by we make a payment here, pay a bill there, borrow from Peter to pay Paul. We just can't get ahead.

If the middle class can't make a living or are having a tough time, how are the people in this country who make under $30,000 a year going to survive?

Mike Leckband
From the Midway