GAAAH! Unwanted mental image!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Swimming Naked When The Tide Goes Out « Jon Taplin’s Blog

What Buffet didn’t say, but I will, is that the Bush-McCain Republican economic policies can qualify as “financial folly” and they are are going to be naked, clinging to each other as the tide rolls out this summer.

Since I’m going to spend the rest of the day with the image of George Bush and John McCain, nude and hugging each other at the beach, seared into my brain, I wanted to make sure that you all are, too. I don’t really know enough about the economy to really speak intelligently about the state of the nation (I know, ignorance has never stopped me before). But I do know that Columbia Heights is feeling the housing market difficulties. There are two large buildings of new condos that have been converted to apartments. One of them, Allegro, converted after taking deposits from many buyers, and is now refunding them. And there have been complaints on the Columbia Heights community forum about home tax assessments going down. A few years ago, it would have been unheard of for a home in the DC metro area to actually lose value. Usually, they say, the DC area is insulated against recession because so much of the money around here comes from the federal government, which isn’t going anywhere. There will always be people here, and there will always be jobs here, even if the economy is terrible. Columbia Heights is probably less insulated because it’s currently “transitional”, and so there is a lot of upheaval and a lot of young people moving in. These young people often have huge mortgages, and probably aren’t tied to their home as much as someone older might be. Without kids and whatnot, it’s much easier for them to pack up and move somewhere cheaper if it gets tough here. And that’s not even looking at the low income residents of Columbia Heights. The median household income here is below $40,000, I believe. Well more than half of the neighborhood isn’t even mentioned when you talk about home sale prices because they don’t make nearly enough money to even consider buying. The wife and I are lucky in that we have some room to cut back if things get much worse. We have some savings, and we’re living within our means (Even though she complains about my credit card bill). Plus we have families to fall back on if we ever got into trouble. But many people aren’t in that situation, and are getting into real trouble. All this to say that, while I would love to see the Bush administration get what it deserves (A 0% approval rating and universal recognition that the last seven-plus years have been an unmitigated disaster), I would rather see the economy improve and people stop losing their homes.

Posted in: dc , economics , Harvard Street , harvardstreet , housing , politics