Representative Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, warned Wednesday that the middle class is suffering and will continue to suffer if tax cuts are extended to the wealthiest Americans. His comments came during a brief address to members of the House of Representatives.
“The bottom line is the richest people are pushing the middle class to a direction that will run them off a cliff,” he said.
Cohen pointed to recent attacks on the federal stimulus, and offered a strong defense of the bill.
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been maligned, but it has been responsible for at least three million jobs – firemen, policemen, and teachers being kept on public payrolls, keeping taxes down and public employees hired.”
Although Cohen cited recent Wall Street gains as a sign that the economy is recovering, he stressed that his 9th district Tennessee constituents continue to be upset. “It’s the middle class that is hurting. It’s the middle class that is most concerned.”
Cohen contrasted the American Recovery and Investment Act with his view of the Tea Party’s economic agenda.
“The middle class is most of the Tea Party, but the Tea Party is being led by some of the richest people in the country who are more concerned about the estate tax and getting 100 percent of their money sent to the next generation tax free, contributing greatly to the deficit.”
In a brief moment of campaign-style stumping, Cohen offered his take on what a Republican-led house would look like.
“As I sit in committee meetings and think about the future, what would happen if this house turned over to the other side, I realize that the middle class would be greatly hurt.” The home of the middle class, Cohen said, “is with the Democratic party that’s helping small business and providing jobs.”