Middle class blames Congress for its demise
A study released by the Pew Research Center today shows that the middle class is shrinking, and middle class voters primarily blame Congress for their eroding numbers.
In 1971, about 61 percent of adults were in the middle-income tier. Thirty years later, that was down to 51 percent, according to the Pew. Middle income is defined in the study as adults with an annual income two-thirds to double the national median.
The Pew study consisted of a survey of 1,287 adults who identified themselves as middle class. About 85 percent of those said it’s more of a struggle for “middle class people to maintain their standard of living” than in the past, the report stated. Out of those, 62 percent place most of the blame for that struggle on Congress, 54 percent on banks and financial institutions, 47 percent on large corporations, 44 percent on the Bush administration, 39 percent on foreign competition and 34 percent on the Obama administration, according to the study.
What’s interesting about the options for blame is that two of them – corporations and banks and financial institutions – are regulated or not regulated by laws passed in Congress.
The study comes at a time when political candidates, most notably President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, are trying to woo middle class votes.
Should the middle class pay any attention to the political pandering?
Another recent study by Martin Gilens shows that politicians only give deference to the middle class during election years, according to an article in Mother Jones. During non-election years, Congress yields “solely” to the wishes of the wealthy.