- The number and percentage of Americans without health insurance actually declined slightly in 2007 compared to 2006. The share without insurance in 2007, 15.3 percent, is actually lower than it was a decade ago.
- Median household income is not falling: “Between 2006 and 2007, real median household income rose 1.3 percent, from $49,568 to $50,233—a level not statistically different from the 1999 prerecession income peak.”
- The share of households earning a middle-class income of between $35,000 and $100,000 in real 2007 dollars has indeed shrunk slightly compared to a decade ago, but so too has the share earning less than $35,000 a year, while the share earning more than $100,000 continues to rise. The middle class is not shrinking; it is moving up.
- The 12.5 percent of Americans living below the poverty line in 2007 was statistically unchanged from 2006, and remains below the 13.3 poverty rate in 1997. The poverty rate has been trending downward since the early 1990s during a time of growing trade and immigration flows.
- The Gini coefficient, a statistical measure of income inequality, was .463 in 2007, down slightly from earlier in the decade and virtually the same as it was a decade ago.
Since the beginning of his Presidential bid Rep. Bob Barr has been attempting to inject the issue of privacy into the 2008 election and policy debates. Sadly, even as Congress debated the largest overhaul of FISA and the surrounding policies since the 70s, little has come of the consistent attempts. The issue just has not caught on with the media, politicos, or even the public. Republicans who believe they already have the upper hand politically on the issue do not want to press their perceived advantage and Democrats do not want to appear weak on national security come November. With the Administration having “got” most of what it wanted legislatively regarding this issue we are most likely to be destined to a toxic stalemate over the coming months with little debate for change. In spite of lack of recent success Bob Barr is attempting to change the “toxic stalemate” to an actual debate that is heavy on logic/reason and low on fear.
We all know that the Federal Reserve over-pumped credit in the first five years of this decade and how it resulted in an asset bubble in real-estate, especially the residential and second home markets. Now home prices have dropped nearly 20% in the last three years, 9% of all mortgages are in foreclosure or are late, and the Treasury department’s “solution” is to socialize the loss by bailing out the most reckless market participants.
Cato has summarized the 2007 Census data that was released earlier this week. While United Liberty of all political blogs will readily admit there are major problems with our economy - problems that stem from both fundamental policy choices & execution of policy - we need to make sure we do not play into the hands of the raging liberals who exaggerate every problem in society in order to achieve their political goals. Even looking at the situation from a non-ideological and pragmatic viewpoint, there is not any more reason to intervene in the economy today than there was a decade ago.
- or maybe they just do not care. With yesterday’s Rasmussen Reports survey showing Congress’ approval rating continuing to fall, an amazing feat in and of itself, its hard imagine a political system being more successful at not appealing to any segment of the population. Even Robert Mugabe has a segment of the population who support his actions no matter how horrid they are. With the Democratic Party generally being the party of hate & lies and the Republican Party generally being the party of fear & force we should expect these ratings to continue regardless of who is elected in November.
The majority party may be celebrating in Denver this week, but the percentage of voters who give the Democratic-dominated Congress good or excellent ratings has once again fallen to single digits.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just nine percent (9%) of Likely Voters give Congress positive ratings, while 51% say it’s doing a poor job.
Congressional ratings first hit nine percent (9%) back at the beginning of July, marking the lowest ratings recorded by Rasmussen Reports. Ratings hit the same low two weeks later. Congress has not received higher than a 15% approval rating since the beginning of this year.
Indicative of the low opinion most voters have of Congress were the findings in another survey earlier this week of members of the leadership’s own party. Just 37% of Democrats say they have a favorable opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while 51% have an unfavorable view of her. One-quarter (25%) of Democrats rate their view of the San Francisco Democrat as Very Favorable, but 14% see her in a Very Unfavorable light.
The news is even worse for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is viewed favorably by 22% of Democrats and unfavorably by 41%. Six percent (6%) of Democrats have a Very Favorable view of the Nevada senator, but 8% regard him Very Unfavorably.
While most of us do not buy into the rumors being spread through the underworld netroots and talk radio about Obama being The Antichrist - Obama and his campaign sure do throw a lot of fuel on the fire. Not long ago, American Presidential Candidates gave their acceptance speeches at wooden podiums similar to what you would find at any university auditorium. This year Obama is running as if he is not only already President of the United States, but also Prime Minister of the World. This personality cult is fascinating, annoying and disturbing all at the same time. The Obama Campaign has been managed as well as any campaign since Reagan of 84 - yet one has to ask the question, is it too much? Do temples of exuberance and worship help win votes in Pennsylvania or Ohio?
From the AP -
NEW YORK (AP) — A widely watched index released Tuesday showed home prices dropping by the sharpest rate ever in the second quarter, but the data for June suggest the severity of the housing slump may be waning.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index tumbled a record 15.4 percent during the quarter from the same period a year ago.
The monthly indices also clocked in record declines. The 20-city index fell by 15.9 percent in June compared with a year ago, the largest drop since its inception in 2000. The 10-city index plunged 17 percent, its biggest decline in its 21-year history.
…or a little of both?
Two weeks of political hype has officially started with the kick-off of the Democrat Party Convention, taking place in Denver this year, and culminating with McCain’s acceptance speech in Minneapolis at the Republican Convention next week.
Looking past the multi-million dollar stages being used at both the Democrat and Republican Conventions, is there really any substance to this year’s presidential coronation ceremonies?
Rumor is that Obama’s acceptance speech, intending to correct Kerry’s 2004 mistake, will be hard-hitting, highlighting the differences between McCain and himself. That should take all of two minutes to delineate, giving him plenty of time for his “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” mantra. I’m sure everyone will leave feeling warm and fuzzy, not at all concerned that they’re still not sure what their candidate stands for and whether he’s truly ready to lead this country.
We had a standing-room crowd at the I.O.U.S.A. premiere in Raleigh, North Carolina Thursday evening. Two auditoriums were sold out — both the one sponsored by our campaign, as well as the regular showing. The movie provided an excellent overview of the “fiscal cancer” that David Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has been courageously discussing for the past several years. The discussion about addressing these issues, however, is just beginning — and will be much more controversial.