Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Washington Post, obviously feeling it necessary to counter claims that the economy is in great shape, has a Page A1 story on how rising expenses have consumers feeling pinched...

And who are these 'consumers' who are feeling pinched?

They start with a 31 year old woman who, together with her husband, is finding it tougher to come up with the money to pay for such basic necessities as gas, food and shoes for her children. Of course, if she didn't have four kids - as well as her apparently non-working mother - and if she had the spine to say no to her kid's demands for the $80 sneakers, it might not be as tough for her, but the Post will never hold people responsible for the position they find themselves in, not so long as the Post can blame the rich folk who have so unfairly benefitted from Bush's tax cuts.

The Post also wants us to feel sorry for a law student at George Washington University who laments that she doesn't get to eat out much anymore, inasmuch as it keeps costing more to fly home to visit her family in Massachusetts. Oh, the humanity... not being able to fly home on a whim! Not being able to go out to eat!

And there's the couple who backed off plans to buy a bigger house further out in the suburbs because mortgage rates have gone up and it would cost more to commute. So this poor couple and their 3 year old daughter are stuck in a 3,000 square foot townhome that is worth $200,000 more than it was just two years ago, along with their 4.875 percent mortgage and a 10 minute commute for her husband. My god, there are people who would kill for a deal like theirs. But we're somehow supposed to view them as casualties of our times? Interestingly, the Post normally criticize people who want to move further outside the city as being responsible for much of the traffic congestion and sprawl.... but why be consistent when you can take shots at the Bush Administration, right?

Now, the Post does, at the end of the article, mention that "in a strong economy with low unemployment and rising income, many households can afford to absorb some rising costs". They acknowledge that, with 83 percent of homeowners having either a fixed rate mortgage or no mortgage at all, the impact of higher mortgage rates are limited to a small pecentage of homeowners. This very well could have been the lead of the story... "Rising costs have little impact on most people"... but that wouldn't have advanced the political agenda of the editorial staff of the Post, right?