The Middle Class Prosperity Project
The Middle Class Prosperity Project is a collaborative effort by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Economic Policy, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to focus greater congressional and public attention on the challenges facing the middle class, and to formulate and implement concrete policy changes in order to address these challenges
The Project was launched on February 23, 2015, with a joint op-ed by Rep. Cummings and Senator Warren that appeared in USA Today:
From the end of the Great Depression to about 1980, America built a middle class unlike anything known on earth. As the economy grew, income and family wealth grew. Families bought homes and cars, took vacations, educated their children and saved for retirement. This spurred demand for consumer goods and housing, combining to build one of the most unprecedented periods of growth in American history.
But then things changed. Beginning in the late 1970s, corporate executives and stockholders began taking greater shares of the gains. Productivity kept going up, but workers were left behind as wages stagnated.
Families might have survived as their incomes flattened, except for one hard fact: the costs of basic needs like housing, education and child care exploded. Millions took on mountains of debt and young people began struggling to cling to the same economic rung as their parents.
After the 2008 economic collapse, massive financial institutions received billions of dollars in bailouts, while families across the country watched helplessly as their home values and savings crashed and millions of jobs disappeared.
These events were not caused by an invisible hand. They were not the inevitable result of globalization or organic market trends. Instead, powerful interest groups, massive corporations and the super-rich rigged the system to jack up their profits and grab the spoils for themselves.
Read the full USA Today op-ed here.
The Warren-Cummings Partnership
Rep. Cummings and Senator Warren have worked together before on initiatives to help the middle class and protect consumers, including partnering on key investigations into illegal foreclosures and strengthening oversight of enforcement actions in the financial sector.
Read more here.