Third Way, a center-left political think-tank has released a plan that they think can help Democrats recapture middle-class votes. Given that Democrats across the board have been losing the middle-class vote by 10-20% points, reconnecting with this large voting segment is a vital step if Democrats want to return to power.

First and foremost, the plan admonishes Democrats for their constant pessimism about the economy as well as their attacks against the wealthy and big business. Instead, the plan encourages the Democrats to adopt what I’d call a “we can do this together� attitude focused on identifying and expanding opportunities.

The plan is best boiled down by former Texas Representative and centrist-Democrat Martin Frost in a piece for FOX News.

(1) Get the nation’s fiscal house in order by controlling entitlement spending, reining in budget deficits and “holding the federal government to the same standards of efficiency and competitiveness that are demanded of the nation’s companies and workers.�

(2) Invest in infrastructure to create jobs of the future by investment in research and pure science and wiring the nation for advanced information technology.

(3) Help businesses keep jobs in America by containing health care costs, lifting some of the burden of retirement security off of business and punishing countries that use unfair trade tactics that harm American companies.

(4) Make college the goal of all young Americans by expanding the tax deductibility of college tuition for middle class parents.

(5) Provide all Americans with affordable health insurance in the form of “competition-based health care reform.�

Sounds like some very real, very solid ideas. But can the Democrats package it? Can they say “we have no desire to punish the wealthy, or Wal-Mart or Exxon-Mobil�let’s focus on helping the middle class achieve the dreams they know they can achieve. Let’s keep opportunities strong and remove obstacles.�

Can they? It would be nice to see.

Business Democrats Need to Promote Opportunity, Not Pessimism