Recognizing the impact of the economic recession on working families, President Obama and Vice President Biden held a meeting of the Middle Class Task Force on January 25, 2010 to discuss ways to reduce the financial burden for this group and increase investments for them. Over the past year, the Task Force has held several meetings on this topic and their recommendations include the following:
1. An increased Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for families making under $85,000 a year. The administration also plans to provide a $1.6 billion increase in child care funding to help an additional 235,000 children.
2. A decrease in students’ federal loan payments to 10% of their income, referring to the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program, created by Congress in 2007. For more information about IBR or Public Service Loan Forgiveness, go to NASW’s loan forgiveness website at http://www.socialworkers.org/loanforgiveness/default.asp.
3. Creating a system of automatic workplace IRAs, requiring that employers give employees the option to enroll in a direct-deposit IRA.
4.Tax credits to match retirement savings and new safeguards to protect them.
5.Support for families balancing work with caring for elderly relatives, which is intended to help families manage multiple responsibilities and allow seniors to live in the community for as long as possible.
For more information about these initiatives or to review remarks by the President and Vice President at the Middle Class Task Force meeting, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/key-investments-middle-class-families.