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Americans can barely afford homes — and that’s a problem for Biden

Record-low U.S. housing affordability is squeezing homebuyers and renters while threatening to spill into presidential politics.

Milwaukee, the largest city in key swing state Wisconsin, saw affordability deteriorate in its rental market more than almost any U.S. metro area in the year ended July, according to a measure by the National Association of Realtors. The region also recorded one of the greatest increases in mortgage burden among the biggest 50 metros in the past year, data from Zillow show.

The housing situation in Milwaukee, the site of next year’s Republican National Convention, is a version of a scenario playing out in cities across the country: U.S. mortgage rates in August hit the highest level since 2000, which has translated into the fewest home-buying applications in decades. Adding to the pressure is the scarcity of inventory, which has helped push selling prices, as well as rents, to near record-high levels.

Milwaukee’s crunch stands out, though, because housing in the region has traditionally been relatively stable and cheap, and because it has potential for political fallout: Among large metro areas in swing states, it had the greatest decrease in housing affordability in the past year.

—Bloomberg News


Republican candidate for Missouri governor vows to burn books after viral flamethrower video

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Republican candidate for Missouri governor on Monday vowed to burn books if elected after he was criticized for a video showing him burning cardboard boxes with a flamethrower.

The video, which has gone viral on social media, shows state Sen. Bill Eigel, a Weldon Spring Republican who is running for governor in 2024, and state Sen. Nick Schroer, a St. Charles Republican, using flamethrowers to torch a stack of boxes at a fundraising event in Defiance in St. Charles County on Friday.

“In the video, I am taking a flame thrower to cardboard boxes representing what I am going to do to the leftist policies and RINO corruption of the Jeff City swamp,” Eigel said in a statement to The Star on Monday. “But let’s be clear, you bring those woke pornographic books to Missouri schools to try to brainwash our kids, and I’ll burn those too — on the front lawn of the governor’s mansion.”


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