Scott Lilly, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress:
For eight years we have papered over the fact that American consumers do not have the purchasing power to sustain economic expansion. As a report I authored a little more than a month ago details, the wage and salary increases that have occurred since 2000 have not been sufficient to even maintain the level of income that most families enjoyed at the beginning of this decade. Employment has not kept pace with population growth. And even though worker productivity has increased by nearly 20 percent over this period, weekly wages are barely higher than they were on the day the current president took office.