by Don Feder, GrassTopsUSA.com
What will $50,000 buy the average family?
It will get them a Chevrolet Braun SUV and a Toyota Corolla, or 17 years of gas at the current price at the pump, or six years of groceries. It will pay their mortgage for four years, or educate their child at a four-year state college or university.
Or, if you’re America’s royal family – Barack I and Queen Michelle of Arrogant – it’s the rental on a swank, waterfront vacation home – with boathouse, horse paddocks, and apple orchard – for 10 days. Blue Heron Farm – a 28.5-acre estate on Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod – has a five-bedroom main house, a guest house, a swimming pool, and a half-court for basketball.
The real estate agent who handles the property won’t disclose the rental. Other area agents estimate the property rents for between $35,000 and $50,000 a week. (The Obamas have it for 10 days, making $50,000 a low-side estimate.) The Royal House of Chicago paid for the digs. We the tax-serfs paid for staff and Secret Service housing and amenities, and the cost of transporting the family and their servitors.
The week before his Martha’s Vineyard getaway, the president took a three-day bus tour of the Midwest, where he expounded on one of his favorite themes. “If everybody took an attitude of shared sacrifice, we could solve our deficit and debt problem next week.” Our debt problem? I didn’t know you and I were responsible for increasing the national debt from $10.6 trillion to $14.3 trillion since January 20, 2009. Rather irresponsible of us, wasn’t it?
Shared sacrifice for thee, but not for he. Forget what the vacation costs taxpayers. With unemployment at 9.1 percent, you’d think the royal couple might feel a little guilty about paying $50,000 to rent a vacation home for a week-and-a-half.
The second week in July, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average lost 419.63 points. From June to July, the sale of previously-owned homes fell 3.5 percent – this despite massive subsidies for the housing market over the past two years. New claims for unemployment benefits rose 9,000. Did I mention that the nation’s unemployment rate is over 9 percent?
The Wall Street Journal surveyed 50 or so economic forecasters who put the odds of a recession next year at 29 percent. Ten of them said the odds were 40 percent or higher.
This brings to mind Ronald Reagan’s famous quip during the 1980 campaign: “Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”
In a spirit of shared sacrifice, the Obamas might have decided to forgo this year’s vacation of the rich and famous. But there’s little self-awareness on the Left.
When Obama speaks of shared sacrifice, he means sacrifice for the middle-class family struggling to make ends meet, sacrifice for businessmen trying to meet a payroll, sacrifice for young couples who may have to delay the purchase of their first home for decades, sacrifice for recent college grads selling insurance or working behind the counter at a fast-food restaurant while they wait for the economy to improve.