Carol Costello Uses Subtle Attacks on Bush, Republicans for Economic Pain

CNN’s Carol Costello clearly misses the good old days when unions dominated and the “American Dream” was alive and well.

“The American dream, 1950s-style. Middle-class America seemed to have it all then. A nice home, a car, economic security. Sixty years later the Bindners and much of the middle-class think thanks to Uncle Sam all of that is disappearing,” Costello said introducing her “broken government report.”

Costello ignored the material gains Americans have clearly made since 1950 when families lived in smaller homes, drove one car and before the invention of personal computers, iPods and so many other goods became available. Instead, she relied on Commerce Department statistics to show a worried middle class angered about “gridlock” and partisanship.

The middle class family Costello spoke to said Washington hasn’t cared about middle class “pocketbooks” for decades.

To prove the point while subtly crediting President Clinton and blaming Pres. George W. Bush, Costello said that between 1990 and 2008 “middle class incomes rose just 20 percent and most of that happened in the first decade. Income stagnated after 2000.”

Then Costello listed the problems: home prices up 56 percent, college costs up 60 percent and health care costs up 155 percent in the same time span. They, and the middle class’s struggle to cope with them, are symptoms of “broken government.”

The two experts Costello consulted were both liberals, universal health care advocate Jacob S. Hacker of Yale University, and Isabel Sawhill of the liberal Brookings Institution. She didn’t include any free market voices in her story to provide the perspective that free markets don’t guarantee economic security, but they do allow for greater opportunity and economic advancement than planned economies.

In closing, Costello revealed her preference for the liberal prescription for economic security.

“Experts say the traditional protectors of the middle class have lost enormous clout. Unions aren’t as powerful as they once were, many companies don’t provide guaranteed pensions anymore, 401Ks are in but employer contributions are getting smaller and all of this, John and Kiran, is affecting the middle class pocketbook,” Costello concluded.

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