Slate: The White House Says America Has Defeated Poverty. That’s Absurd.


Slate: The White House Says America Has Defeated Poverty. That’s Absurd.

This administration has spent much of their tenure actively making life more difficult for working families: limiting workers’ rights, sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, proposing raising rent for struggling Americans, giving a massive tax cut to the wealthy at the expense of everyone else … the list goes on and on.

And now, they’re claiming that poverty isn’t a major problem in this country, at the same time that people all over Ohio—and nationwide—can’t afford the healthcare they need, or are seeing their wages decline.

That claim is insulting, and untrue. Get the details below, and then show your support for Sherrod, who acknowledges the struggles working families face every day, and fights hard to help them get ahead.

Slate: The White House Says America Has Defeated Poverty. That’s Absurd.

Jordan Weissman – July 17, 2018

Key points:

  • “Based on historical standards of material wellbeing and the terms of engagement, our War on Poverty is largely over and a success,” the White House Council of Economic Advisers explained in a lengthy report published Thursday.
  • The CEA report raises an important question: Has the U.S. quietly vanquished poverty? And the answer is almost certainly no.
  • The Census Bureau reports that 12.7 percent of all Americans—about 40.6 million individuals—lived below the official poverty line in 2016.
  • The White House argues that measuring poverty using income data is inaccurate because poorer households tend to under-report how much they actually earn or receive from the government. Instead, its economists borrow a poverty measure based on consumption.
  • But measuring impoverishment this way makes it virtually disappear. The consumption-based rate poverty rate that the White House prefers shows that poverty was supposedly in decline, even as more direct signs showed more households claimed to be having difficulty covering the cost meals or shelter.
  • The measure of poverty the White House has chosen to embrace almost certainly understates the extent of real material need in this country.
  • If you look at more realistic studies of how poverty has evolved over time, they suggest that America has made great progress since the 1960s but also has a long way to go before everyone actually has economic security.

Read more here.

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