Post Finance Columnist Fawns over Hillary Clinton
Singletary echoed what other journalists have said: "for those struggling financially, it doesn't matter if economists call it a recession or not." She approved Clinton's use of "the 'R' word," adding, "you can't heal what you won't acknowledge."
Declaring â€śhistory has shown that tax cuts donâ€™t cut it as the major driver of economic stimulusâ€ť â€“ ignoring many economists who say the opposite â€“ Singletary laid the foundation for effusive praise of Clintonâ€™s ideas. Those ideas included a â€ścommunity support fundâ€ť of up to $5 billion in taxpayer dollars â€śto assist hard-hit communities and troubled homeowners.â€ť
The initiative Singletary was most excited about was taxpayer-funded financial counseling. She quoted Clintonâ€™s list of many types of debt plaguing Americans, from credit cards and student loans to mortgages and medical debts.
â€śClinton isnâ€™t as radical as I am in declaring that there isnâ€™t any good debt,â€ť Singletary wrote, â€śbut she gets that debt has become a dangerous trap for far too many people. Itâ€™s important that whoever is our next president be highly sensitive to that fact.â€ť
Those whose lives and careers have advanced through education might not agree that all student loans are bad. Those who needed a credit card to make an emergency purchase might not agree that all credit card debt is bad. Millions of homeowners probably wouldnâ€™t agree that all mortgage debt is bad.
With millions of individual situations, itâ€™s impossible to equate medical debt with credit cards, mortgages and student loans. There are those for whom debt is a â€śdangerous trap,â€ť and there are others for whom it isnâ€™t.
Debt has become a highly politicized issue, as the Business & Media Institute documented in an in-depth study of media coverage. That study, â€śDebt: Whoâ€™$ Responsible?â€ť found 62 percent of network news stories ignored the borrowerâ€™s responsibility. In fact, lenders and related companies were blamed for borrowersâ€™ debt troubles six times as often as borrowers.
Clintonâ€™s idea to have responsible taxpayers help bail out their debt-ridden neighbors deserves a much more objective analysis than Singletary gave it.