At least that's the picture that the top Republican presidential contenders want you to believe. Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are floating around in a Disney-like bubble that has no room for middle-class anxiety or economic reality. All three are millionaires, and in their bubble there's a golden economy of low inflation, high employment, free trade, Wall Street wealth and endless economic growth. As the bubbly Mitt Romney said in an exuberant moment: "Well, I mean, the market is a wonderful thing. The sky's the limit."
Meanwhile, back down here on earth, there's a very different world that America's workaday majority is experiencing. For example, on the very day these Pollyannas were enthusing about low inflation, George W's own energy department reported that the cost of home heating oil will jump 22 percent this winter. No inflation? Have any of these millionaires bought a gallon of milk recently or paid a health insurance premium?
Speaking of health care, has their happy bubble not been pierced by the news that 2.2 million more Americans were became uninsured last year? That's the sixth straight year that the ranks of the uninsured have grown, leaving 47 million of our people with no health coverage -- the highest total ever recorded.
And sure, there's high employment -- at poverty wages. Most Americans have seen their incomes fall in the "boom economy" that the R's are so glibly praising. While they sing zip-a-dee-doo-dah together, two-thirds of Americans say the economy is either headed to recession or already there.
Check you own pocketbook. Are Rudy, Mitt, and Fred living in your world?