There is one thing I will admit George Bush is very good at doing, and that’s expanding the ranks of the poor. After four consecutive years in which the poverty rate declined, the percentage of poor people in this country increased from 11.3% in 2000 to 11.7% in 2001. In 2002 it increased again to 12.1%
Today we learn that the number of poor people in the U.S. increased by 1.3 million individuals to 35.9 million, bringing the poverty rate to 12.5% for 2003:
The percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose to 12.5 percent from 12.1 percent — as the poverty rate among children jumped to its highest level in 10 years. The rate for adults 18-to-64 and 65 and older remained steady.
The bureau also said that the share of aggregate income for the lowest 20 percent of Americans fell to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent.
There’s more bad news for the Bush team, and the rest of us. Incomes were stagnant last year, the number of uninsured people rose from 43.6 million in 2002 to 45 million in 2003, the number of people covered by Medicaid increased by 2.4 million (from 33.2 to 35.6 million) while the the number of people covered by Medicare increased by 1.1 million (from 38.4 to 39.5 million). All those new Medicare and Medicaid clients are of course being funded by your over-stretched tax dollars.
Yo, George – what’s your solution for the increasing number of poor people in this country on your watch? Another tax cut for the rich?