Top 6 Policies to Help the Middle Class that Won’t Cost Taxpayers a Penny

Source: David Madland and Karla Walter, Center for American Progress, April 24, 2013

…Rather than make excessive short-term budget cuts as we are currently doing, we can and should make needed investments in the middle class, such as expanding access to preschool and child care, as part of a package that reduces the deficit over the longer term, as CAP has proposed on many occasions. Furthermore, there are a number of things that policymakers can do that won’t require any additional expenditures.

To help remind politicians that they have lots of room to act, we have compiled a list of the top six policies that would help the middle class without costing taxpayers a penny. Together, these policies will boost the incomes of millions of hardworking Americans; put families on a path to a sustainable retirement; ensure that workers don’t have to choose between staying home while sick or losing their job; allow struggling homeowners to stay in their homes; and empower students with valuable information on college quality.

While these policies would not address all of the challenges faced by the middle class, they would make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of working Americans….

1. Increase the minimum wage…
2. Make saving for retirement easier, cheaper, and more secure…
3. Lower monthly housing costs by providing homeowners with principal forgiveness…
4. Let all workers earn paid sick days…
5. Ensure that workers who want to form a union are able to do so…
6. Require colleges to provide consumer information via college scorecards…