The “fiscal Cliff” is coming, and it’s going to take a lot of work to avert it.
And the way to get there is to fix some of the problems the United States is facing.
We’re going to need to fix a lot more of the country’s problems in the short-term and the long-term.
We have to make sure that the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus package, the Dodd-Frank legislation, the tax relief that we’ve got, we have to do these things quickly and we have no choice but to do it quickly.
And we can’t do it on autopilot.
It has to be driven by something else, like the long term, which is how we grow our economy and the competitiveness of our businesses.
The most important things that we can do now to start fixing our fiscal problems are: Let’s get out of the way.
Let’s stop this bleeding.
We need to stop this spending that we’re going through.
And, second, we can start to rebuild our economy, to rebuild the country, to invest in the next generation, and to rebuild a strong middle class.
I know there’s going the usual chorus of people who are saying, “Well, I’ll do what I can to save my job, but we’ve gotta fix this thing!”
And, you know, I think we can and should do that.
I think if we can, we should do it.
But I also think we need to take it on the chin.
Let me give you some numbers.
In January, the median American family made $53,000.
In March, the middle-income family made almost $1 million more.
If you take those families together, and I’m not talking about people who have higher incomes because they’re on a high tax bracket or because they have a higher amount of savings.
I’m talking about median income, which has risen from $54,000 in December to $53.9 million in February.
So, if you’re a person making $52,000 and you’re an individual making $57,000, that means that you’ve got two people in the household who have $52.9-million in income and two people who’ve made $52 million.
They’re living pretty well, but they’re making $13,000 less.
And that’s just a couple of dollars a month.
And it’s not even that great of a paycheck.
You have two people making $51,000 a month making $17,000 more a month than the median household makes.
And so, that’s $20,000 an hour in income.
If they’re in the same position now, if they’ve had a raise, they’ve done better.
But they’re not earning the same amount.
The bottom line is that we need all of our workers to have a little bit more.
We’ve got to do something.
I am going to propose a $10-an-hour minimum wage.
That’s going for workers in the service sector, the factory floor, in small businesses.
That is going to go for workers who have a college degree or have a professional degree, who have health insurance.
It’s going even for people who don’t have insurance, but who work part-time.
That means, $10 an hour for all people in a family of four, that is going for all workers in a household.
The median household income in America is $52 and $55,000 per year.
We are going to have to have that $10 for everyone, every single person, in America.
That includes everyone making over $200,000 who works in the government or public sector.
I’ll tell you something else.
You know, the President is going in on the unemployment rate.
He’s not going in in the middle.
He is not going for the middle class or the working class.
He wants to keep unemployment low.
And in the meantime, he has to make more money for the military.
So if he doesn’t make enough money for his military and his military does not pay enough for its services, the American people are going the same way that we are.
The President has to get his priorities right, and he has been able to do a lot better than the Congress has done, but the Congress hasn’t done it.
It hasn’t paid its bills, and the President has had to pay more for Medicare and Social Security, and for Medicaid, than we have.
And what I’ve done, I’ve paid for it by raising taxes on the middle income Americans.
The tax burden on the rich is falling, because they’ve been paying lower rates than the middle group.
But the President’s tax burden has fallen, and that means we’re paying more for our military and for Medicare.
That has to happen.
We can’t keep borrowing to pay for it.
I have no problem with the fact that we don’t get our money out of our country