STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS
(Extensions of Remarks - January 31, 2007)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E223-E224]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                  STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 31, 2007

  Mr. KUCINICH. Madam Speaker, during a hearing today in the Committee 
on Education and Labor entitled ``Strengthening America's Middle Class: 
Evaluating the Economic Squeeze on America's Families,'' I offered the 
following statement on the economic issues facing workers and families 
in America.
  As we will hear from today's witnesses, families across the Nation 
are experiencing increased financial pressures and too often failing to 
reap the rewards of their own productivity. Many middle class workers 
who have labored tirelessly to support their family are now faced with 
job insecurity and financial concerns. Too often, the overriding themes 
of many workers' lives have become themes of increasing debts and 
diminishing protections. The pressure they now face largely stems from 
circumstances beyond their control, circumstances that we as Members of 
Congress must work to rectify.
  Many families of middle class workers now teeter on the edge of 
economic stability. Every American can attest to the growing costs of 
necessities such as home heating oil, child care, and healthcare. As 
wages have failed to keep pace, many workers are placed in a precarious 
financial situation. Forced increasingly

[[Page E224]]

to rely upon loans and credit cards to make ends meet, families can 
find themselves one extended hospital stay or temporary job loss away 
from bankruptcy. The system designed to protect families in these 
situations is broken, and must be mended by this Congress.
  Outsourcing, once primarily a concern for manufacturing jobs, is now 
a growing concern for white collar jobs as well. Workers in my home 
state of Ohio have long known the consequences for workers when jobs 
are shipped overseas. The effects of trade policies such as NAFTA have 
led Ohio to post the sixth highest unemployment rate in the Nation in 
the most recent numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
Workers and their families are left in an insecure world, with 
diminishing protections and in need of a helping hand.
  No longer can our Nation turn a blind eye to the effects of lax 
enforcement of labor laws, inadequate social support systems and faulty 
trade policies. This Congress must take the necessary steps to ensure 
that workers and their families are on stable economic ground. We have 
the ability to better protect and aid our constituents, and we must 
move towards the goal of security for workers as we begin this new 
Congress.

                          ____________________