Help for the 'sandwich' generation

The Associated Press reports President Obama offered help for people struggling to pay bills and care for their families, appealing to a middle-class he says has been "under assault for a long time."

In a partial preview of a State of the Union address that aims to answer voter angst about the economy and reconnect with the public, Obama outlined the series of proposals from the White House, according to the wire service. The product of a middle class task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden, the proposals will also be included in Obama's budget request due to be submitted to Congress next week.

Thye AP writes that among the initiatives: a doubling of the child care tax credit for families earning under $85,000; a $1.6 billion increase in federal funding for child care programs and a program to cap student loan payments at 10 percent of income above "a basic living allowance." The initiatives will be part of the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2011.

His initiatives also include expanding tax credits to match retirement savings and increasing aid for families taking care of elderly relatives. That program would also require many employers to provide the option of a workplace-based retirement savings plan.

Under the president's proposals, families making under $85,000 a year would see their child care tax credit nearly doubled. Families making under $115,000 would also see at least some increase in their tax credit as well. Obama will also call for the allocation of $100 million to assist families caring for aging relatives by providing help with transportation, adult day care and in-home aids.

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