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George W. Bush’s recession is having far reaching consequences – Ben Stein attempts to write with compassion about those caught in the economic downturn:

Everybody’s Business

Deep in Debt, and Now Deep in Worry


Published: January 24, 2009…

Go. Read the whole thing.

A $2.2 million interest only mortgage. A $12,000 monthly payment. $20,000 monthly alimony and child support about to run out.

Okay, stop right there.

In 2004 those who had an income over $200,000 a year voted overwhelmingly, according to exit polls, for dubya over John Kerry. 63% for dubya, 35% for Kerry. There’s a good chance, though not an absolute probability, that Ben Stein’s subject voted for the enabler of her misery.

Other commentary on this story in blogtopia (yes, skippy coined the phrase!):

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ben Stein Asks Us to Feel Sorry for Wildly Irresponsible People

…Is that story going to elicit one iota of sympathy from anyone? The bimbo woman knew when her meal ticket was due to run out well in advance. And she clearly took zero steps to prepare: no job, no plan to get a job, no downsizing of expenses so she had a buffer when the checks quit coming, merely throwing money at a “shop” that given its lack of earnings, the IRS would see as a hobby rather than a business (note to readers: it isn’t uncommon for wealthy women to have marginally profitable decorating or clothing businesses so they can buy at wholesale and have good conversational fodder). Indeed, given the fact that she kept refinancing her house, she was clearly spending more than what her ex was paying her…

Political Animal

January 25, 2009

By: Hilzoy

Dear Ben Stein…

Ben Stein has a truly unbelievable column in today’s NYT (h/t). You should stop reading this post right now, and after you’ve made sure that you won’t get Diet Coke all over the keyboard once you start laughing, click through and read it…

…And if, on reading a column like this one, your son asks you why you’re focussing on someone who managed to get deep in debt while living in a $2.7 million dollar house and getting $240,000 a year in alimony and child support, and not on people who are poor or middle-class, then you can rest easy and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Undoing the damage of the last eight years is going to take a lot of work. Somehow, even given the current reality, I don’t think that 63% is going to be predisposed to rolling up their sleeves to do their part. Those looking after their interests in Congress appear to agree:

Obama wants swift action on massive recovery plan

By Jim Kuhnhenn

Associated Press / November 24, 2008

…But there were no plans to balance the tax cuts with an immediate tax increase on the wealthy. During the campaign, Obama said he would pay for increased tax relief by raising taxes on people making more than $250,000.

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio urged Obama to make that explicit. “Why wouldn’t we have the president-elect say, ‘I am not going to raise taxes on any American in my first two years in office?'”…

I understand that Versailles has not always been the greatest place to visit in early October.

S’ils n’ont pas de pain, qui’ls mangent de la brioche.