Even the liberal HuffingtonPost admits Dems deserved a thumping!
Speaking truth to old-stream media bias.
One of the biggest, and least appreciated reasons Democrats might be struggling, is that the middle class is poorer. Median net worth is actually lower, adjusted for inflation, than it was in 1989. Even worse, it's kept falling during the recovery.
Yes, even after the economy started to grow again, and the stock market started to boom, and housing prices began to bounce back, the median net worth of the average American household continued to decline.
This is a story about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn't have much of the former, which has rebounded sharply, but has lots of the latter, which hasn't. Indeed, only 9.2 percent of the middle 20 percent of households owns stocks, versus almost half of the top 20 percent. So the middle class has not only missed out on getting a raise, but also on the big bull market the past five years.
The only thing they haven't missed out on was the housing bust: 63 percent of that middle quintile own their homes, which are more likely to be a financial albatross than asset. And it doesn't help that, with student loans hitting $1.2 trillion, people have to take out more and more debt just to try to stay in, or join, the middle class.
It's no surprise, then, that people are still so gloomy about the economy. The recovery just hasn't been much of one, if at all, for most of them. Middle class wages are flat, and their wealth is still falling. At least during the bubble years, rising home prices gave people access to credit that helped mask their stagnant wages. But no more. Home equity lines of credit are down almost 25 percent from their peak, and are still declining. The middle class, in other words, can't borrow from the future to pretend that the economy is working for them today.
But people won't be happy until they don't have to pretend anymore.
Holy Crap! Edward Snowden just showed up via video for Putin's Moscow Q-and-A!
Snowden asks Putin if Russia intercepts phone calls and stores information like the US does
Putin tells Snowden that Russia does not collect or store mass data on it's citizensVIDEO: Edward Snowden makes surprise appearance at Vladimir Putin press conference http://t.co/sSPLG9CaBI
> crazy notions....I can tell you that my blood boils when. I think of the traitorous packs in the past and then in the continuing future of snowden. you not only endangered the security of countless numbers of Americans. but he also exposed law abiding citizens and and humiliated the current administration and past administration and also undermined the effectiveness of our lawful data collection that was specifically designed to protect us
Heritage: 2014 Tax Day Chart: Who Pays the Most?
Which taxpayers experience the greatest tax burden—and who pays the most in taxes?
As Americans navigated the labyrinthine tax code ahead of tax day, many felt the sting of the President's myriad tax increases.
Despite calls for more taxes on the rich, the Heritage chart shown above reveals that the recent tax increases disproportionately affect the working wealthy.
The top 10 percent of all income earners paid 71 percent of federal income taxes in 2010, yet they earned 45 percent of all federal income. Compare that to the bottom 50 percent of earners, who earn 12 percent of income yet pay only 2 percent of federal income taxes.
So when Obama and advocates of higher federal taxes opine that the rich do not pay their "fair share," they are correct—affluent income-earners pay a whole lot more than they would pay if we had a proportional tax code instead of the highly progressive one we have today.
Obamacare is now four years old. But unlike most 4-year-olds, it still can’t walk on its own. It’s been tripping and falling over itself for years.
Just in the last year, the Obama administration has delayed or changed so many parts of the law—not to mention the technical “glitches”—it’s tough to keep up. Bloomberg Businessweek looked at the law’s recent track record and inspired us to take a visual tour.
“I want to apologize to you that the website is not working as well as it should.” —Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market.” — Karen Ignagni, CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans
“Consumers who select their plans by December 23 and pay their premiums by January 10 will be able to have coverage effective January 1.”
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad. All photos - Pete Souza and Newscom.
President Obama recently admitted that Obamacare will cause some Americans to lose their doctors. Some have suggested that his promise “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” should be 2014’s “Lie of the Year.” But what about his promise that Obamacare would lower premiums by $2,500 per family?
As we—what’s the opposite of celebrate?—the fourth anniversary of Obamacare’s passage this weekend, Americans have already seen their premiums double or even triple. And premiums aren’t finished going up.
Next year’s rates won’t be released until this summer, but The Hill recently spoke to insurance company officials and got a frightful preview of where they’re headed. One “insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the Obamacare exchange.”
This year’s pricing in the new Obamacare exchanges raised premiums for people buying in the individual market in at least 42 states. >>>See how much their premiums went up, by state
But none of this has been a surprise to Heritage’s health care experts.
Back in 2010, Heritage experts said that “one of the major impacts” of Obamacare was that “individuals and families will see higher health insurance premiums.” In fact, they listed 12 reasons premiums would be going up. Obamacare’s mandated benefits topped the list:
Obamacare mandates that insurance companies cover a minimum package of benefits. The more comprehensive and generous the insurance, however, the more expensive it will be.
At that time, Heritage’s Brian Blase and Rea Hederman cited the president’s promise of the $2,500 premium discount—and said sorry, this is merely wishful thinking.
Despite this promise, President Obama’s wishes do not trump basic supply and demand or common sense. If government requires that a product be made more generous and be available to more individuals, its cost will increase. There is no way around the fact that the vast majority of Americans will be paying higher prices for their insurance because of Obamacare.
The administration is still living in the dream of yesteryear’s promises. A White House set of frequently asked questions on “health reform” still assures visitors that their premiums and health care costs will not go up—and that they can keep their plans and doctors.
Photo credit: Pete Souza
Morning Bell at Heritage Libertad.
The NCAA Tournament match-ups were announced Sunday evening, and President 0bama will no doubt be filling out his brackets very soon.
David passed along a bracket as well:
It doesn’t hurt to dream. pic.twitter.com/9wMXO83IVs