It is not surprising that the poverty rate is so high given all the jobs that were lost in addition to all those who were sent outside the country the past two decades and it will get worse with all the new taxes to cover the medical benefits that will not even begin until 2012. Also it will get worse if they spend that outrageous Cap & Trade energy bill that will increase the cost of everything and let people freeze in winter and roast in the summer because they can not pay for electricity or gas .
In retrospect, it would have made more sense — and had been the “american way” — if Bush and later, Obama would simply leave bankruptcy on Wall Street and in Detroit occur in the usual manner. The bankruptcy courts could have settled all this and reconstruction could have begun by now.
Revised formula puts 1 in 6 Americans in poverty
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer
Tue Oct 20, 8:41 am ET
WASHINGTON – The level of poverty in America is even worse than first believed.
A revised formula for calculating medical costs and geographic variations show that approximately 47.4 million Americans last year lived in poverty, 7 million more than the government’s official figure.
The disparity occurs because of differing formulas the Census Bureau and the National Academy of Science use for calculating the poverty rate. The NAS formula shows the poverty rate to be at 15.8 percent, or nearly 1 in 6 Americans, according to calculations released this week. That’s higher than the 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million, figure made available recently under the original government formula.
That measure, created in 1955, does not factor in rising medical care, transportation, child care or geographical variations in living costs. Nor does it consider non-cash government aid when calculating income. As a result, official figures released last month by Census may have overlooked millions of poor people, many of them 65 and older.
According to the revised NAS formula:
_About 18.7 percent of Americans 65 and older, or nearly 7.1 million, are in poverty compared to 9.7 percent, or 3.7 million, under the traditional measure. That’s due to out-of-pocket expenses from rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and a coverage gap in the prescription drug benefit.
_About 14.3 percent of people 18 to 64, or 27 million, are in poverty, compared to 11.7 percent under the traditional measure. Many of the additional poor are low-income, working people with transportation and child-care costs.