The poor you will always have with you
(Note: derived from the Robert Rector article How Poor Is ‘Poor’?)
Yes, the poor will always be with us, and under President Obama’s leadership, in increasing numbers. And they’ll be voting.
Think about this issue as Joe Biden would: Hey, we set a new record! That’s a big flipping deal, ‘cause more is better, right?
The federal government’s welfare programs cost $927 billion in FY11 and 46.2 million Americans are now considered poor. That’s up from 36.4 in 2006.
The government definition of “poor” is based on income. In 2011, the government categorizes a family of four as being poor if their income is around $23000. However, assuming that the poor family receive an average amount of federal aid (about $9000 per person), their pre-tax buying power would shoot up to almost $60000.
Since the government counts about three percent of this aid as income, let’s round the buying power number down to $58000.
If this example is correct (and given the many “poor” with flat screens, cell phones, high-speed internet, air conditioning, automobiles, etc.), it seems to beg for a picture with the caption Poor: You’re Doing It Wrong.