This, in a nutshell, is what the 2012 national elections should be about:
The Associated Press today reports that record numbers of Americans -- now nearly one in two -- are either now officially poor or struggling forward on low-income earnings. That's according to the latest US Census data. Whither the American middle class? Or more accurately, wither the American middle class.
Causes: Unemployment that remains high, a serious lack of government safety nets for middle class wage earners, and years of stagnating wages that have affected millions of middle-class working families.
Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty (he used to do the same work at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison), told the AP that prospects for the poor and near-poor are "dismal," adding: "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."