The news is not good for property owners who live in Rockland.

The combination of the school and municipal budgets is expected to hike a typical homeowner’s property tax bill slightly more than $100. The city has determined the median assessment on single-family homes in Rockland is $165,000, which means that this is a typical home.

Those typical homeowners could see their tax bill exceed $2,900 over the next year, even after the state homestead exemption is deducted. This translates into $243 per month just for property taxes.

This is in addition to the cost of heating that typical home, which is probably about $187 per month for oil and $100 a month for electricity. Drinking water and flushing the toilets are not free, so add another $75 or so a month (even though you pay those quarterly).

Let’s get wild and say you want to eat. The cost of groceries has risen sharply. I have a difficult time keeping up with how much is spent on food since I go to the supermarket at least once a day. Maybe $200 a month per person is a conservative estimate on the cost of food in a typical home.

Then there is that pesky mortgage, unless you are one of the fortunate ones who have paid off the bank. The typical mortgage, minus taxes, is at least $600.

Do you drive? Many typical homeowners also have cars. And many of these typical car owners have car payments of maybe $200 a month. If you actually use the car, then you have to put gasoline or diesel fuel in the tank. Fuel prices have skyrocketed again and now filling the tank costs $120 a month or so per typical vehicle.

Unless the law on nudity is repealed, typical people have to buy clothes. Even shopping at Goodwill will add to the monthly budget.

The bottom line is that the typical middle-and-lower income residents are being squeezed in an economic vise. The vise is being squeezed so tight that many people are crying out in pain.

The Great Recession may be officially over but many people are still struggling to climb out of the asteroid-like hole that was created in 2008. There were 1,500 fewer people working in Knox County last month than for the same time prior to the bottom falling out of the economy.

Many who have kept their jobs have either received no pay increase or seen a reduction in pay. The Maine Department of Labor statistics, for example, show that the average weekly wage in Knox County for the third quarter (July through September) of last year was $614. This was down from $616 two years earlier.

Retailers are also experiencing this trend. They are taking in less money than before the Great Recession began although they are seeing some slight improvement from the depths of this recession.

We are in year three of this new economic norm and there is great uncertainty on when we will climb completely out of the hole.

But in the meantime, the vise continues to be squeezed. Those who earn the most are paying less in federal income taxes while the state wants to provide those same high-income earners with a Maine tax cut.

That loss of revenues from those wealthiest citizens would have gone to provide property tax relief to the typical homeowners or to pay for health care for those typical working-class poor.

We continue to fight two wars while cutting income taxes for those who are most able to pay while our schools cut staff, squeeze classrooms with more students, allow our roads and bridges to deteriorate, and keep the typical workers in fear they are only one illness away from financial disaster.

But at least the national media is keeping its collective eye on the ball by trumpeting every word from Donald Trump and sending scores of its limited staff members to cover the marriage of two non-typical people from England who live on the public dole.

Stephen Betts is associate editor. His commentary appears on this page on Fridays.