We've shared with you the statistics.  And we're sure you've heard that unemployment is the reality for far too many Americans.  The economy is showing little sign of recovery and families are dipping into their 401Ks just to meet their mortgage payments.

Americans have been taking a big hit over the past few years.  And as you'd expect, they’ve been sitting around their kitchen tables, looking everywhere for savings in the family budget.  It may come as a surprise to you, then, that local and state governments across the country have only become more creative in their approaches to raise tax dollars - including proposing new taxes on groceries like soft drinks, juices, flavored waters and other beverages.

Late last week, Damien Hoffman, co-founder of Wall St. Cheat Sheet, spoke to Yahoo! Finance about the erosion of the middle class.  He discussed how dipping into retirement accounts, or "living off of principle," for essentials like groceries is only becoming more widespread.

Even so, we continue to see examples of tax proposals that show politicians just aren't feeling the pain that many Americans are facing each and every day.  As we mentioned in earlier posts, New York, for example, began enforcing a sliced bagel tax.  And there's a prepared foods tax in Minnesota that affects cheese prices, as we discussed here last week.

As Hoffman put it, after feeling so much financial strain, an increase in taxes on consumers will result in "less money that’s even going to be available for them to put their kids through college," or "save for their 401Ks."  American families have the power to get us out of this recession. To do so, though, they need a break - not new taxes.