Sunday, September 12, 2010

Census Expected To Show 15% Of America In Poverty

Demographers predict that when the Census Bureau releases new figures this week, they will show a record climb of nearly 2 points to top in at 15% of Americans living at or below the poverty level.

Representing the highest single-year increase since the government began tracking poverty figures in 1959, the surge tops the previous record of 1.3 points during the 1980 energy crisis when 13 percent of Americans found themselves living below the poverty threshold.

About 45 million Americans – or 1 in 7 - are affected. The poverty level for a family of 4 is a yearly income of $22,025, a figure calculated without any consideration of accumulated wealth and a cash only income before tax deductions.

With rates of income falling among the 18-64 years age group, the increase tops the numbers that prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to launch the federal anti-poverty and social welfare programs of 1965.

The all-time high stood at 22.4% of the population in 1959.

Said President Barack Obama, “The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there.” His goal, to help the poor achieve middle class status, he refers to as a “virtuous cycle.”

In political terms, pundits, pollsters, politicos and newsmen are predicting the Republicans will urge voters to fire the Democrats, the Democrats will blame the Republicans and voters will express anger and frustration over diminished expectations in the voting booth.

Unemployment gauged by the latest population figures stands at 9.3%, up 3.5 percent from figures gleaned last year at this time.

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