Parents, students and workers would benefit modestly from a series of initiatives President Obama outlined Monday for the middle class as he prepared for his State of the Union address on Wednesday.
Seeking to point out some of the goodies in an otherwise austere budget, Obama and Vice President Biden said they will ask Congress to increase child care tax credits, cap student loan payments and help workers enroll in 401(k) savings plans.
. . . The middle-class package is meant to help people with higher incomes than in the past. The full child care tax credit, for instance, would benefit parents earning up to $115,000.
Student loan payments would be capped at 10% of income above what's needed to live on, and all debt would be forgiven after 20 years — 10 years if the graduate worked in public service. There are also benefits for people who care for elderly relatives.
Candidate Obama defined middle class as combined family income up to $250,000. When it comes to benefits and tax relief, that's been cut by more than half since the election.
And, the lion's share of most benefits will still go to government employees, who already get better than average salaries, pensions and benefits. ("Student loan payments would be . . . forgiven . . . if the graduate worked in public service", i.e., for the government.)
Obama's still just pitching more welfare for his core supporters.