16 Policies to Rebuild Middle Class

Center for American Progress released of list of 16 policy ideas to help rebuild the middle class that should also become part of the national debate:

1. Get young people into jobs so they can be working Americans

2. Let the aging unemployed retire with dignity

3. Expand the federal “jobs accelerator” program

4. Create a common application for federal programs for entrepreneurs

5. Reward students who work their way through college with increased access to federal student aid

6. Save tuition costs for students by awarding them college credit for proven knowledge

7. Automatically connect student-loan repayments to post-college pay levels for new college graduates

8. Create a web-based national career-guidance system to help workers navigate career advancement, education and training, and connect with future employers

9. Boost the earnings of workers and provide a greater incentive for firms to hire new workers by making more workers eligible for overtime pay

10. Help all middle-class working parents afford decent child care by improving the existing child and dependent care tax credit

11. Help middle-class families caring for aging parents by expanding the existing dependent tax credit to include a credit for eldercare expenses when the relative does not live with the taxpayer

12. Enact a Consumer Bill of Rights for mortgage customers that would create consumer protections and standards for mortgage servicers to protect homeowners and ensure stability in the housing market

13. Fight rising gas prices by helping consumers spend less on gas

14. Help middle-class families and small businesses fight the high cost of energy by making their homes and small commercial properties more energy efficient

15. Require companies that offer their CEOs “golden parachutes” in their contracts to offer strong severance packages to their other employees in the event of layoffs

16. Stop subsidizing excessive levels of CEO pay