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Five reasons Rick Santorum's policies would be a disaster for the middle class

1. Santorum's tax plan benefits the wealthy while exploding the national deficit. Just like the other Republican presidential candidates, Santorum is proposing a tax plan that benefits millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class and our deficit. His plan would give the top 0.1 percent an average tax cut of $1.3 million—and add $900 billion to the deficit in 2015. Even the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute's senior fellow Kevin Hassett acknowledged, "It is just not a defensible plan."

2. Just yesterday, Santorum attacked the very idea of public education. In a speech to the Ohio Christian Alliance, Santorum argued that public support for education is an "anachronism" and a remnant of the Industrial Revolution, "when people came off the farms where they did home school or had a little neighborhood school, and into these big factories…called public schools."

3. Santorum thinks the Ryan plan doesn't go far enough. Tea Party Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed an extreme budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it and force seniors to pay twice as much for their health care. And yet Santorum doesn't think the plan is extreme enough, saying, "I support in principle what Paul Ryan is suggesting. The only concern I have is I don't think Paul Ryan goes far enough."

4. He opposes the payroll tax cut. President Obama has fought for a payroll tax cut for the middle class that would put an average of $1,500 back into workers' paychecks. Like his fellow candidate Mitt Romney, who called the payroll tax cut a "temporary little Band-Aid," Santorum says he would not vote to extend the payroll tax cut for another year. So if you're keeping score, middle-class tax cuts: bad. Tax cuts for the wealthy that explode the deficit: good.

5. Santorum opposed rescuing the auto industry. If it had been up to Santorum, "we should not have had the auto bailout." Yet without government assistance, the Big Three automakers would have been liquidated—and resulted in a massive loss of good American manufacturing jobs. President Obama's decision to lend Detroit a hand saved 1.4 million jobs, and helped this industry make a profit for the first time in decades.