NEWS AND OPINION:
Get ready for an incoming population of geezer politicians, some say. No, really.
“Despite recent calls for term limits and age limits in leadership, Americans should get used to aging politicians for better or worse,” advises William J. Kole, the recently retired New England editor for the Associated Press, and the author of a forthcoming book with an intriguing title: “The Big 100: The New World of Super-Aging.”
Mr. Kole has a few thoughts on the senior citizen factor in politics.
“Older Americans’ lock on higher office is only going to intensify as the baby boomers age into their 100s,” he said in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
“People aged 65 and up already form the biggest voting bloc in most states. Between now and 2040, the senior population is projected to swell by 44%, while the 18-to-64 population grows by just 6%. And many of those elders will have no qualms about keeping older politicians in office,” Mr. Kole noted.
“There are also racial considerations to having older leaders: The troubling truth is that extreme longevity tends to be overwhelmingly white, a product of the ‘weathering theory’: the idea that the health of African Americans begins to deteriorate in early adulthood as a physical consequence of socio-economic disadvantages,” he said.
“There are consequences of older leadership: It risks prioritizing seniors’ issues and concerns over those of younger citizens,” Mr. Kole added.
The book arrives Oct. 3, published by Diversion Books, an independent publisher based in New York City.
PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK
The Republican National Committee continues to monitor the financial challenges that have surfaced during President Biden’s time in office.
“61% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and inflation is still squeezing budgets. That’s just one of many indications that ‘Bidenomics’ isn’t working,” reports Jake Schneider, director of rapid response for the RNC.
“Credit card, auto loan, and consumer loan delinquencies are at their highest levels since the Great Recession — and could go even higher. Prices for school supplies have increased nearly 25% over the past two years,” Mr. Schneider said in a well-sourced written report, citing loan data from Equifax and back-to-school prices from CBS News, respectively.
“American households were worse off in August compared to just one month ago as lower-income Americans take on more debt,” Mr. Schneider said, this time referring to a Bloomberg.com study released Thursday.
He also noted that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage remains at its highest level since 2001, according to Bankrate.com.
In addition, major credit card companies announced they are preparing for “massive fee hikes,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Then there’s the fuel challenge. A gallon of gas averages $3.82 nationwide as of Thursday, according to AAA.
“The nationwide average for a gallon of regular gas is around 68 cents per gallon higher than two years ago and $1.43/gallon higher than when Biden took office,” Mr. Schneider said, citing a Fox News report.
“No wonder Biden can’t invoke his failed ‘Bidenomics’ without lying. Most Americans aren’t feeling any benefit. Instead, Americans will keep paying the price for Biden’s ineptness,” Mr. Schneider wrote in his stark conclusion.
Find his complete report and much more at GOP.com/news.
THE POTATO PARDON
The White House has already revealed that a pair of Minnesota turkeys will arrive in the nation’s capital in November to be officially “pardoned” by President Biden in the annual Thanksgiving season ritual at the White House.
Some are not happy about this. The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals — PETA for short — has issued a statement on this phenomenon. The animal-rights organization proposes that the president pardon a potato instead.
“PETA and our millions of members and supporters with a suggestion for an appeeling new Thanksgiving tradition — one that would truly be inclusive and welcomed by everyone who doesn’t eat meat for religious, cultural, or environmental reasons or because they object to the way animals are raised and killed. Instead of promoting the harmful factory farming of turkeys, would you please initiate the Great American Potato Pardon, a ceremony that would also celebrate your Irish heritage?” the organization said in its letter to the White House.
And yes, the spelling “appeeling” is intentional in the official letter.
“Traditions constantly change because, and now would be a smashing time to introduce the Great American Potato Pardon. Potatoes are a wholesome all-American food,” PETA later concluded.
And about those two Minnesota turkeys. Jennie-O Turkey Store — a subsidiary of Hormel Foods — last week revealed that the company will send two turkeys to the White House for the “ritual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation.” The birds — who have yet to be identified by name — were hatched in July, This year’s White House turkey moment will mark the 76th year for the longstanding tradition.
ELVIS AS EMCEE
A future event of note: The annual Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Julian L. Simon Memorial Award Dinner awards in September has a unique slant this year. The heavily attended event is simply titled “Elvis: All Shook Up.”
The master of ceremonies will be “black leather-clad” Nick Gillespie, who is editor of Reason, a libertarian-leaning publication that emphasizes “free minds and free markets,” according to advance notes shared with Inside the Beltway.
Annie Duke, a former professional poker player and author, is among the speakers for the big evening, as is Kent Lassman, president of the host organization. Organizers advised that “cocktail or themed attire” will be appropriate on the big night.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
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POLL DU JOUR
• 44% of registered U.S. voters would vote for former President Donald Trump if the 2024 election was “going to be held now”; 84% of Republicans, 43% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.
• 47% of men and 41% of women also agree.
• 43% would vote for President Biden; 7% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 87% of Democrats agree.
• 41% of men and 45% of women also agree.
• 7% overall would vote for someone else; 6% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
• 6% of men and 7% of women also agree.
• 3% overall are not sure what they would do; 1% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
• 3% of men and 3% of women also agree.
• 3% overall would not vote at all; 3% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.
• 3% of men and 4% of women also agree.
SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 26-29.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.