Obama Hosts Roundtable on Reclaiming the American Dream

MANCHESTER, NH— In Concord today, Senator Barack Obama hosted a roundtable discussion with Granite Staters about the economic hardships too many American families face. As costs rise and working families fight to keep up, more and more are falling behind. Obama shared his plan to reclaim the American Dream for the middle class with 6 participants who would benefit from the plan.

“Americans everywhere are working harder for less and paying more for health care and college,” Senator Obama said. “For most folks, one income isn’t enough to raise a family and send your kids to college. Sometimes, two incomes aren’t enough. It’s harder to save. It’s harder to retire.You’re doing your part, you’re meeting your responsibilities, but it always seems like you’re treading water or falling behind. And whether we’re rich or poor, young or old, Democrat, or Republican, or Independent, the one thing we should all be able to agree on is that these stories and these hardships are a fundamental violation of the American Dream. This is not who we are. And this is not what America has to be.”

Obama discussed his proposals to make college affordable, to reform our bankruptcy laws, to protect the balancebetween work and family, and to put a secure and dignified retirement within the reach of all Americans.

Obama continued, “This is what we must do to reclaim the American dream. We know it won’t be easy.We’ll hear from the can’t-do, won’t-do, won’t-even-try crowd inWashington; the special interests and their lobbyists; the conventional thinking that says this country is just too divided to make progress.

“Well I’m not running for President to conform to this conventional thinking – I’m running to challenge it. It’s the kind of change that I’ve been working for since I fought joblessness and poverty on the streets of Chicago two decades ago; the kind of change I fought for when I put $100 million worth of tax relief in the pockets of the working poor and expanded health care to 150,000 children and parents in Illinois.”

Barack Obama’s comprehensive planto help working families reclaim the American Dream will:

  • Provide a middle class tax cut of $500 for800,000New Hampshire workers –$1,000 per working family – and eliminate the income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 per year, including 30,000New Hampshire seniors.
  • Address the challenge of balancing work andfamily by guaranteeing workers paid sick days, expanding the Family andMedical Leave Act (FMLA), supporting paid FMLA, and doubling funding forafter-school programs.
  • Help Americans buy and keep their homes– including a tax credit to help more than 40,000New Hampshire residents pay theirmortgages, with an average of $500 in savings.
  • Protect American families by reformingbankruptcy laws, predatory credit card policies, and abusive paydaylending practices.
  • Reduce health care costs by $2,500 for atypical family.
  • Strengthen retirement security byautomatically enrolling workers in portable retirement accounts andproviding additional incentives for Americans to save.
  • Put the cost of college in reach byproviding a $4,000 refundable tax credit available at the time ofenrollment, and create a Community College Partnership Program tostrengthen this vital resource for American students.
  • Ease the financialhardship of rising home heating costs by releasing a portion of theNortheast Home Heating Oil Reserve to stabilize prices and funding and expandingthe Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Obama’splan to help working families reclaim the American dream can be viewed in full HERE