The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
April 12, 2004
Kerry | Kerry Courts Young Voters With "Misery Index"

Kerry is using the soaring costs of a college education to appeal to young voters.

According to the Associated Press:

The Massachusetts senator is releasing a “misery index” suggesting that working families have been hammered by stagnant incomes at a time college and health insurance costs have soared.

In his college swing, Kerry is expected to focus on the college cost issue, even while his campaign is broadening its economic criticism of Bush.

The study by his campaign said tuition costs at public colleges and universities have soared by 13 percent in the last three years, “the largest increase on record” and reflecting the budget pressures facing cash-strapped states. Private-college costs have grown by 5 percent over the same stretch, it said.

[. . .]

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt dismissed the index as a political stunt.

“John Kerry has made a calculation that if he talks down the economy, it will benefit him politically,” he said.

Schmidt also said the economy is growing “at its fastest rate in 20 years,” and pointed to a Labor Department report that some 308,000 new jobs were created last month. Nearly 2 million jobs have been lost during Bush’s tenure.

Sounds more like an appeal to the parents of young voters.

Cross-posted from California Yankee

Posted by Dan Spencer at April 12, 2004 06:20 AM | TrackBack

Why not talk about the real misery index? Because it is so low.

When Bush jumps one hurdle they will make another up. By the time the election rolls around the new misery index will be the temp in Fairbanks divided by the Red Sox back up shortstop’s fielding percentage. And it will look bad for Bush.

Posted by: jones at April 12, 2004 07:32 AM

What about the Misery I feel every time I see Kerry’s botoxed head wearing his plastic yellow daisy?

Posted by: Ricky Vandal at April 12, 2004 10:58 AM

Wasn’t the “Misery Index” something Jimmy Carter came up with in 1976?

Posted by: Steve in Houston at April 12, 2004 12:32 PM

Yep, Inflation plus Unemployment = Misery Index.

He used it to hurt Gerald Ford in 1976, but then it came back and really go him in 1980, when the MI in 1980 was over 22%.

Trouble is, the numbers won’t work for Kerry, so he has to go make up something to fit.

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 01:58 PM

Wow so is Bush going to be running on his record of one good month of job growth then? what about all the other months? Last I read its the worst job market ever for college grads. Maybe he can run on his record of deficit spending! Or how about his record of spending the most time on vacation! Like he did right after he read the Aug. 6 PDB!

Posted by: typhonus at April 12, 2004 02:57 PM

typhonus… here’s a little more background on your “anybody but Bush” Presidential candidate

Posted by: newguy at April 12, 2004 03:57 PM

Kerry has to court the college and communist vote…..they’re the only people stupid enough to vote for him.

Posted by: Gawdamman at April 12, 2004 04:53 PM

Kerry has to court the college and communist vote…..they’re the only people stupid enough to vote for him.

Posted by: Gawdamman at April 12, 2004 04:54 PM

ooooops…sorry about the double post :-)

Posted by: Gawdamman at April 12, 2004 04:56 PM

what is the Y axis on the misery index? I can’t find it on kerry’s website. Pitiful

Posted by: jamgar at April 12, 2004 05:22 PM

How many times is Kerry going to get away with moving the goal posts?

Posted by: TL at April 12, 2004 07:14 PM

College Tuition Costs are completely up to State Taxpayers, State Government, and Univeristy spending.

During the recession, Eastern Michigan University bought not 1 but 2 new homes for the President. They sold off their 1st temporary one having a deficit from renovation costs added on to the $5.4 million presidential house.

Correct me if I am wrong but the Executive Branch of the Federal Government can not do ANYTHING at all to fix tuition costs. The only ones who can do that are the ‘Alumni Donors’ who can close their wallets and force the University to cut their over extended budgets.

Posted by: Jeff MacMillan at April 12, 2004 08:37 PM

let’s see…
kerry makes up a brand new index… he can pull whatever data he wants (and does - see gas prices)… and the best his wizards can come up with shows an index value of about the average of the last 30 years? i’m disappointed. isn’t this like the worst economy ever?

one of the key indicators of his new index is private sector job growth. can anyone explain how this can be an indicator of middle class misery? is someone sorting out all the minimum wage jobs? and why use job growth? it only takes 60k jobs added each month to keep pace with the growth in the work force. if unemployment levels are satisfactory, what is the point in creating positions that won’t be filled? why not simply use unemployment? or labor force participation rate? ohhhhhhh… its because those numbers aren’t that bad….

Posted by: wafflestomper at April 13, 2004 02:17 AM

And, Bush’s tax cuts helped put more money in their parents pockets so their kids could go to school, and their part time jobs paid them more, with less tax deductions.
What did kerry do? He voted against tax cuts. He wanted his misery index to climb higher.

Higher teachers salaries, higher professor salaries due to their damn union strikes, benefits, etc. also make tuition fees higher. How about putting a cap on those Kerry? Whats the matter kerry, not willing to address the real problem because the unions will jump on you? Here’s what are you going to do, raise taxes! Thats the liberal way.
And Bush did not loose 2 million Jobs. What horse shit that is. Liberals can’t do math,(another result of the degrading school system due to teaching why billy has 2 dads rather than readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmatik, which costs more too)
7 million more people entered the work force, so Bush created 5 million jobs net.

Posted by: X2™ at April 13, 2004 04:14 AM

Kerry “courting” kids, that is worrysome. Mrs pickle gone sour on him?

Posted by: X2™ at April 13, 2004 04:26 AM

I grew up with your fucking misery index, shyster.

Watching the terrorist take our people one after another and not able to respond from fear of Soviet escalation to nuclear armageddon.

We can finally clean up this inexcusable mess now, and for you to sell that opportunity to those who believe your lies is criminal beyond Adolph Hitler.

We see you, and you will not be permitted to throw away our future for your personal benefit.




Posted by: jeffers at April 13, 2004 05:00 AM

another day, another 1.98 billion spent on killing people…

Posted by: x at April 13, 2004 09:34 AM

yeah, it’s better to change the subject than try to defend the middle class misery index.

Posted by: wafflestomper at April 13, 2004 10:12 AM

we got to stop the killing for $1.98b! no more funding the faa, the blm, nasa, hud, usgs, bia, fema, nps, bor…

but wait! that 1.98/day number is wrong! well, unless they were sneaky and only meant mon-fri. so on the weekends, the killin’s free! feel better about it now, x? your point was that you were okay with the killin’, so long as it didn’t cost you anything, right? no, that couldn’t be it, with you being so damn rich and all…

(yeah, i know, the sob hooked me, but the misery index is still a joke)

Posted by: wafflestomper at April 13, 2004 11:02 AM

x: So perhaps you would care to address this?

You want killing and destruction stats? Try googling Albright & Clinton’s war or you can check out my post of last Sept 2003

Or are you only against “killing” when your party is out of power. I don’t recall the protests, media clamor or denounment of Clinton by the Left in 1999.

Exactly what benefit was gained by the billions spent bombing a small Balkan country back into the stone age? Are the Muslims grateful? We’re still bogged down in the Balkan quagmire. NATO/UN can’t even capture Karadzic in a tiny county the size of Connecticutt.

Sorry to take this off-topic but such nonsense has to be addressed.

Posted by: feste at April 13, 2004 01:48 PM

Sorry, the link is to the Sept archive, here’s the permalink

Posted by: feste at April 13, 2004 01:51 PM

Who the fuck is running Kerry’s campaign? A misery Index? Really?

It must be that the most recent Newsweek poll putting Kerry 9 points ahead of Bush is in spite of, rather than because of, this kind of lame stunt crap.

Posted by: Todd at April 13, 2004 06:04 PM

So let me get this straight: Under bush, the average income has gone up by 5.6% over three years. Thats nearly 2% a year which frankly isnt bad. But the reality is that its the RICH who got that benefit. For the Median income- income went down by 3.3%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But only .6% when Bush’s tax cuts and increased entitlement were figured in. So essentially, the middle class has been moving backwards thanks to AWOL boy.
Frankly, the fact that income hasnt even been keeping apace with inflation is a disaster…

And lets not forget the incredible turn around in employment…for the worse under Bush…

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 07:17 PM

from kerry’s site:

    Median family income is from the Bureau of Census’ Income in the United States report… Census has not released the 2003 income data yet; this study constructs the 2003 number by assuming that income grows from 2002 to 2003 at the same rate as Usual Weekly Earnings reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

from the us census bureau (which is the source of kerry’s numbers)

2000 median family income = 49,628
2002 median family income = 51,742

from the bureau of labor and statistics (which is kerry’s source for prognosticating 2003 median family income numbers)

2002 median usual weekly earnings of all individuals = 608
2003 median usual weekly earnings of all individuals = 620

what is that nonsense you’re typing typhonus? it appears you’ve been conned by some bs site and now you want the rest of us to be as gullible as you. but then, some people were just born to be tools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wafflestomper at April 14, 2004 12:01 AM

THE RICH THE RICH! Why do we always hear this whining?
The RICH! the Rich, do not get NOTHING from the government. What a tax reduction means to THE RICH, is the government TAKES less. they aren’t “giving” the rich anything.

And where oh where do you get the numbers that “the poor” get less? they don’t PAY ANYTHING FOR TAXES!
Why should the rich pay everything, and the “poor” pay nothing, yet get everything?
The poor get: medicaid, welfare, dental care, social security, school. Housing, ass wipe, cheese.

Screw off with this tax the “rich” crap already. get a fucking job and shut up.
Kerry is filthy rich (his wife is) Ask him what he did with his tax cut.

Posted by: X2™ at April 14, 2004 05:21 AM

Further, if you believe that kerry is going to raise taxes on those who make only 200,000 or more, your daydreaming, and truly smoking way too much pot.
How many people do you think make $200,000.?
The FACT of the matter, 99% of the working class make 99.9% of the money in the USA. They ARE the tax base in real dollars, not the $200 thousand and up. Average is what, 60 thou?
Kerry WILL raise taxes on everyone, using the same old Liberal sliding rules as always. He has no choice. He can’t even play with the low end scale, because Bush has already slashed it to nothing.
Why don’t you democrat fools look at the FACTS for a change. The FACT is, the average union member making 35-90 thousand are going to get hit hard with kerry tax to pay for his lofty dreams.
Do you know why people who make over 100g can’t get dinged with taxes hard? because they are usually a business owner, who can adjust his salary, and if your earning “wages” over that amount, you can sock alot of money into investments which reduce your taxable income.
If your smart with money, you can keep most of it, while the dumb democrat spends all of his, then bitches because the “rich guy” has a nice car because he SAVED his and made it work for him.

You will never get a rich guy to pay your way, no matter how hard your rant and rave. The tax is already 90% on “the rich”. Wake up democrat. Is your tax 90%?
Ask kerry to pay your way. he’s filthy rich. Or rather, his wife is.
Democrats get suckered every time.
How come, in 8 long years, Clinton never put in health care? he had the opportunity.
How come? Can you democrats ever ask a question of your own party?

Posted by: X2™ at April 14, 2004 05:46 AM

Typhonus, no matter how hard you can try you can not get any richer with John Kerry Tax Hikes.

The Tax Cuts along with child tax credits and other incentives have helped the American People through the recession. We are now in a booming economy except for 2 states in the U.S. who are abysmal. (Michigan’s economy sux because we have Jennifer Granholm (Democrat)).

Posted by: Jeff MacMillan at April 14, 2004 12:20 PM

X2: hundreds of thousand of small business make $200k plus per annum and use a S corporation to pay their profits at their personal tax rate.

Kerry’s country club pals will hire more accountants to find more loopholes, but middle-class mom & pops, family farms and anyone who has the balls to create a business will get a tax increase, for some it will be the last straw in states like CA where they have been hit by massive energy, tax and fee increases in the last five years.

Kerry and his advisors count on you not knowing about S corps.

Posted by: feste at April 14, 2004 04:45 PM

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