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Families Having a Harder Time Keeping Up

Even as the White House and so-called economic experts insist the recession has bottomed out and is improving again, more and more families are finding it harder to make ends meet. Dozens of states are experiencing rising demand for Medicaid, food stamps, and other social services. And unemployment is sticking at 9 percent- higher if you don’t believe the official story. Families have to be more resourceful than ever to keep their heads above water.

To adjust, interesting trends are taking shape. Increasing numbers of mothers are returning to the work force or to school. Families are cutting way back on credit card usage and other discretionary spending. They are moving into smaller homes or going from owning a home to renting. Many are eating from their own gardens, even in very urban areas. They are eating out less and buying fewer big screens.

The real question is, how long can families keep up this pace and still listen to the "experts" tell them everything is getting better? There is a gap between the perception in Washington and the reality that American families are seeing, and somehow those two perceptions need to be reconciled. Until then, our country risks growing discontent.

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