The United States is looking at record poverty rates for 2009, according to the Associated Press. AP interviewed demographers, for information on an upcoming Census report, to be released this Thursday. 1 in 7 Americans lives in poverty, something not seen since the early 1960's.
Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.
Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.
Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent. That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs from education to health care.
Demographers also are confident the report will show:
_Child poverty increased from 19 percent to more than 20 percent.
_Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
_Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
While many articles blame Obama, right now we have Republicans demanding tax cuts for the rich to the point of filibuster.
Folks, especially our conservative leaning friends, while we're not pleased with either party, someone kindly inform Republicans their desire to give the rich even more wealth and take away what meager change is still in the pockets of your average citizen, is disgusting and should not be rewarded at the polls in November.
1 in 7 is over 14%.