NEW YORK (CBS) ― President Barack Obama makes a statement following a meeting of the Middle Class Task Force at the White House Jan. 25, 2010 in Washington.
Some say it's an open admission to many here in the tri-state area that he has failed to feel our pain and our needs.
From his war on the banks -- the lifeblood of the metropolitan area economy -- to his health care reform which could cost taxpayers here over $1 billion, President Obama's policies have sent a strong message to the tri-state area that Washington doesn't care about the middle class.
Suddenly, he claims he wants to change that.
"The middle class feels beleaguered, and I think the message of Massachusetts, which I believe the president is now heeding, was pay attention to our plight. We're not as worried about changing the health care system as we are about getting by week to week," Sen. Charles Schumer said.
So at the urging of area Democrats like Sen. Schumer, President Obama will use his State of the Union address to tack to the middle -- with child-care tax breaks and student loan deferments.
"I think he's pivoting, pivoting into dealing with middle class woes with jobs and the economy," Schumer said.
But not everyone thinks the president's new found concentration on the middle class will help us here in the tri-state area -- because there is still the war on banks and insistence on health care reforms that don't help many of us.
"No, I don't see any real relief coming from Barack Obama to the middle class. I think he is still on a very liberal agenda. He's mouthing some words which maybe will play in some states but his policies are devastating to New York," Rep. Peter King said.
Congressman King said one thing that would help taxpayers in our area is a cost of living adjustment on federal taxes that takes into account how expensive it is to live here.
"If he's serious about the middle class there should be an allocation or adjustment made for people living in a high-income area, high-expense area, high cost of living area," the Republican from Long Island said.
New Yorkers seem to agree.
"Who wouldn't like to have some extra help in a place that's really expensive?" asked Tom Falcone of Queens.
"Everybody needs a little more money in their pocket. It would stimulate the economy," added John Forst of Brooklyn.
Schumer said the Massachusetts election was a wake-up call for Democrats in Washington, but only time will tell whether voters will buy the "new" Obama.
The president will get a referendum on his policies during the November mid-term elections.
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