National

Jan 25, 2010 6:50 PM by Associated Press

Obama announces initiatives for middle class

He says the middle class has been "under assault for a long time," and President Barack Obama is offering some help.

In a partial preview of Wednesday's State of the Union address, Obama is proposing more breaks for families taking care of children or elderly relatives, and an expansion of tax credits to match retirement savings.

There would be a doubling of the child care tax credit for families earning under $85,000, and a program to cap student loan payments for people carrying a big college debt burden.

The proposals come from a middle class task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden.

White House advisers see Wednesday's State of the Union speech as an opportunity for Obama to refocus his message, in the aftermath of the loss of a Democratic Senate seat last week in Massachusetts.

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