Arianna Huffington Says Federal Government Has Failed the American Middle Class

VIDEO: Arianna Huffington on "World News"

Arianna Huffington says that the Obama Administration has failed to take decisive action during the economic crisis, threatening the existence of the American middle class.

"There's no question that the Obama Administration really underestimated the economic crisis," Huffington, the creator of the Huffington Post and a liberal commentator said in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer set to air tonight on "World News."

"Remember, we had been told that after the stimulus passed, we would actually manage to get unemployment down to around eight percent. Well not only did that not happen, but the chances of double-digit unemployment are growing," added Huffington, who also takes aim at Republicans.

VIDEO: Arianna Huffington on "World News"
Welcome to 'Third World America'

Millions of Homes in Foreclosure

Huffington pointed to the flood of foreclosures as another massive failure by the Obama Administration. Some 2.8 million households received foreclosure notices in 2009, a record that could be matched or even surpassed this year.

"As a mother, I feel the idea of having to move your kids from your home into a motel -- or often a homeless shelter -- is so devastating," Huffington said. "And seeing the impact this is going to have on a whole generation of children as they're growing up like that makes me really disturbed about the fact that the administration did not do more to prevent foreclosure."

VIDEO: Part one of Diane Sawyers interviews with Arianna Huffington.
Arianna Huffington on 'Third World America'

Fears of a "Third World America"

In her new book, "Third World America," Huffington outlines alarming statistics about the struggling middle class. The middle class is disappearing and the American dream is dying, Huffington says, but there's still time to do something about it.

Click here to learn more about "Third World America"

"The foundation of American prosperity, but also the foundation of American democracy has been the middle class," Huffington said. "Because without a middle class, we become a third world country of extremes. You know, the very rich and the very poor, which increasingly is everyone else."

VIDEO: Arianna Huffington discusses her new book with Diane Sawyer
The Conversation: Third World America

Huffington argues that the trend has been going on for decades, but the middle class crisis has only gotten worse with the nation mired in recession.

Huffington Shares Alarming Statistics About Middle Class Economy

Among the most jarring statistics she cites, Huffington writes that every 30 seconds, someone declares bankruptcy in America. The average American is already $16,000 in debt.

"Is that the fault of the system, or did we all just go a little crazy and think that ... the judgment day wouldn't come?" Sawyer asked.

""We need to take personal responsibility, no question about that. It's a little bit like a culture of addiction," said Huffington. "But you know, when it comes to drug addicts, we punish the drug peddlers."

In Huffington's view, the big banks and Wall Street firms have failed to come through for the American taxpayers who bailed them out. They've continued to profit off of fees and interest rates that she sees as traps that take advantage of consumers.

"That's why one of the first steps I recommend in the book is financial literacy," Huffington said. "We need to actually take responsibility for moving our families to safe financial ground."

Foreclosure vs. Mortgage Negotiation

Huffington also suggests that Americans should be allowed to negotiate and modify the terms of their mortgages rather than go into foreclosure and lose their homes.

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