Texas Liberal

All People Matter

15.8% Of Americans Live In Poverty—This Should Be A Focus Of President Obama

The Census Bureau says 15.8% of Americans live in poverty.

This is up from a 13.2% “official” estimate that the Census Bureau announced last month.

The difference is that the new number reflects medical expenses, transportations costs, child care costs and geographical differences in the cost of living.

From the Christian Science Monitor—“Here are the alternative poverty rates, followed by the official rate in parenthesis, for groups where the gap is significant:

• Single dads: 19.8 percent (versus 14.2 percent)

• Hispanic Americans: 29 percent (versus 23.2 percent)

• People in the West: 19 percent (versus 13.5 percent)

• People in the Northeast: 16.1 percent (versus 11.6 percent)

• People age 65 and up: 18.7 percent (9.7 percent)

The poverty jump for the West and Northeast reflects higher living costs in some of the most populated areas in those regions….For one prominent group, children, poverty is about 1 percent lower using the alternate measure than the official one. But Americans under 18 had a poverty rate of 17.9 percent, higher than the national average.”

(I’m sorry, but because of ongoing browser and blog troubles, I can’t add the link to the story. The Christian Science Monitor article was written by Mark Trumbull and appeared on October 20. There are many stories on this issue on Google News if you use the search term poverty rate. Or, if you want better time for reflection, your local newspaper may well run a story on this concern in the morning. Then you can think about it at home with your corn flakes and coffee.)

It is no surprise to me that one in six Americans live in poverty. Where are people going to get good 40 hour jobs with good benefits in this society?

I’m glad that President Obama is addressing the issue of health insurance. After he makes progress on that concern, he should then address the issue of poverty in our nation.

One in six Americans in poverty here in the so-called “Richest nation on Earth.”

This tragic fact of poverty in our nation is hardly a political issue at all. Where is the President? Where are the Democrats in Congress? Where are all the bible-thumpers? Where are the so-called good people? Where are the so-called liberals?

October 21, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. i think even obama gets out of bed with the insurance companies and drug companies and opens up canadian borders for legally made drugs to come in at more resonable prices and actually puts the screws to congress to pass a health bill with public option that he would be helping the poor more than anyone knows.

    we can train and create many new jobs in health care if people are able to go to the doctor, but until we start making things in the united states besides donuts and cheetos its all just a slowdown of the obvoius problem that we can not be a service only country.

    Comment by bill brady | October 21, 2009

  2. I think we are all numbed by the numbers, and by the number of issues. I just don’t know how we ended allowing the 80’s continue until there was nothing left. We have hungry population, 2 unjust wars going, and a daily loss of personal freedom. And we have gotten used to it. I love our President and know things take time, but not sure he is going to be allowed to do what has to be done.

    Comment by rhinoforthehungry | October 21, 2009

  3. our population is one of the fattest in the world. our workers are split we have people that will work until theres nothing left of them and the other half just get by. they cant wait to get to hooters and get thier drink on and watch sunday football. we need to produce things. sellalbe exportable things, we can not just service each other eat eat eat and expect the country to make itself better. obama and pelosi have to pressure and strong arm this congress to get things done. pelosi has the balls for it i am not sure obama does. we will see in the next 90 days. if we break antitrust in insurance and get some kind of health bill passed it can all be tweaked later as we go along.

    Comment by bill brady | October 21, 2009

  4. Rhino—I just hope our President has the commitment to address these issues. I’m hopeful, but not yet convinced.

    Thanks for your comment. Please visit the blog again.

    Bill—Hopefully health insurance reforms will make a big difference in the lives of many people. We’ll see.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 21, 2009

  5. its looking better with pelosi pushing for public option, small steps i guess. obama really needs to step up.

    Comment by bill brady | October 22, 2009

  6. From “Horton Hears a Who” by Dr. Seuss, which makes me cry everytime I try to read it to my daughter:

    And he climbed with the lad up the Eiffelberg Tower.
    “This,” cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour!
    The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
    To come to the aid of their country!” he said.
    “We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
    So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”

    Thus he spoke as he climbed. When they got to the top,
    The lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, “YOPP!”

    And that Yopp…
    That one small, extra Yopp put it over!
    Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover
    Their voices were heard! They rang out clear and clean.
    And the elephant smiled. “Do you see what I mean?…
    They’ve proved they ARE persons, no matter how small.
    And their whole world was saved by the smallest of All!”

    Comment by Sarah V. | October 22, 2009

  7. Brookings’ findings is that from 2000 – 2008, poverty grew at twice the rate of U.S. population growth, and now encompasses 39.1 million Americans.(And this figure is not impacted by 2009 developments.)


    Comment by moraloutrage | January 29, 2010

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