Friday, February 23, 2007

Compassionate Conservatism's Legacy

From McClatchy Newspapers: U.S. economy leaving record numbers in severe poverty
The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line and the gulf between the nation's "haves" and "have-nots" continues to widen.

A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures, the latest available, found that nearly 16 million Americans are living in deep or severe poverty. A family of four with two children and an annual income of less than $9,903 - half the federal poverty line - was considered severely poor in 2005. So were individuals who made less than $5,080 a year.

The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas. [emphasis added]
...[T]he share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries. That helps explain why the median household income of working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.
This is the result of years of Republican leadership and corporate lobbying. You'd think they'd be ashamed. And they call themselves moral.

Update: Related reading from Libby @ DetNews:
Yet Bush's proposed budget intends to pay for the tax cuts for the obscenely rich by slashing these programs [the ones that help support those living in poverty]. And slashing the VA budget and veteran's benefits. And slashing funding to the states for federally mandated programs. And a thousand other cuts to assistance programs. But last I heard, the repeal of the death tax which will save you nothing, but will save the Walmart heirs about 27 billion dollars, will be passing through into law soon. That is what these cuts will be funding. That's not capitalism. That's cronyism.
The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. When are people going to learn to vote in their best interests and not those of Corporate America, Inc. and the GOP?


Cathleen said...

As soon as the Democrats make it a point to hammer this home... but I fear they won't because they, too, rely on the wealthy and the corporations to get to a position of power.

It's one of the reasons I am leaning Edwards right now- he has made this an issue, and I appreciate him for it.

But I'm trying to resist getting into '08 this soon... :-)

Kathy said...

You're right, Cathleen, Democrats are corruptible too. However, it's been the Republicans in control of the purse strings for 15 years now and the statistics on poverty can be blamed on their stewardship. Democrats need to take a lesson from the message voters sent last November though - the public wants to be heard and represented in Washington - and if they can't do the job we gave them we can vote them out and replace them with someone else. (Poverty is high on the list of concerns for average Americans.)

I'm trying to resist getting into '08 too. I'm leaning toward Edwards, but I also liked Vilsack, and here he just announced today that he's dropping out of the race. Ironically, he couldn't raise enough money to compete. The system needs to be changed so everyone has a chance to get elected (not just those who can write huge checks or raise lots of cash).

abi said...

I had just finished reading that article before I came to your blog. The rise in the severely poor during the Bush years is shocking (but hardly surprising). However, the article danced around Bill Clinton's contribution to this shameful stat - welfare "reform."

The post ends with a great question. That people continuously vote against their own best interests is something I'll never understand.

And yes - let's take the money out of politics. That's the only way we'll be able to take the country back.

Lew Scannon said...

When are people going to learn to vote in their best interests and not those of Corporate America, Inc. and the GOP?Well, since Corporate America Inc, owns and controls the media, I expect the people won't ever learn this lesson-look, another bleached blonde bimbo has entered rehab after flashing her pantiless privates at the papparazzi

expatbrian said...

I like Lew's comment. The American people allow this to happen. Quit blaming everything on the representatives that YOU elect. They are all corrupt, it is essential training to get to the position they are in. 1/2 of you don't even vote, so don't spout that as a way to make change. Jeez, Bush is being allowed to take on Iran now, because everyone sits numbly in front of their TV set and believes everything they hear and everything they read! America is going to be in the toilet and suddenly everyone is going to say, "what happened?"
What happened is, you continued to have faith in your "elected representatives" to protect you, sustain you, be fair, give you the American dream, and all the other nonsense the politicians spout. They do it because they know the people will sit idly by and just believe it.
GET UP AMERICA. GET OFF YOUR BUTTS, ORGANIZE, SCREAM AND YELL, DEMAND WHAT YOU WANT. If you don't, your'e not gonna get it. (sorry Kathy, it just makes me so damn digusted)

Kathy said...

Expat, no need to apologize, I share your disgust almost daily.

Lew, your comment about the blond bimbo was on target. We have a country full of shallow people who want to be entertained instead of educated by the news.

Abi, money in politics is the one thing that I hear people complain about constantly, but no one seems to have a solution. If you have any good ideas, let us know.