AP: For all of Obama’s “recovery” blather, the poverty rate isn’t budging

posted at 8:41 pm on September 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After his bizarre and widely panned decision to go forward with it just hours after the Navy Yard shooting on Monday, President Obama gave yet another speech about how much the economy has ostensibly recovered since the financial crisis five years ago. His administration has been “pushing back against the trends that have been battering the middle class for decades,” he insisted, citing the supposedly healing housing market, the “saved” auto industry, limited job creation, and increased renewable energy generation as evidence that his policies are working, but was mindful that “as any middle-class family will tell you, or anybody who’s striving to get into the middle class, we are not yet where we need to be.”

Yes, it’s all very interesting and compelling, I’m sure, except that by far too many measures, the middle class has only been faring worse and worse during Obama’s presidency. Real median incomes were higher in 1989 than they were in 2012; the smallest percentage of Americans are working today since the record low of only 63.2 percent in 1978; and despite all of Obama’s talk about improvement and progress, the poverty rate was again stuck at an inexcusable 15 percent last year, via the AP:

The nation’s poverty rate remained stuck at 15 percent last year despite America’s slowly reviving economy, a discouraging lack of improvement for the record 46.5 million poor and an unwelcome benchmark for President Barack Obama’s recovery plans.

More than 1 in 7 Americans were living in poverty, not statistically different from the 46.2 million of 2011 and the sixth straight year the rate had failed to improve, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Median income for the nation’s households was $51,017, also unchanged from the previous year after two consecutive annual declines, while the share of people without health insurance did improve but only a bit, from 15.7 percent to 15.4 percent. …

The Census Bureau’s annual report offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2012, when the unemployment rate averaged 8.1 percent after reaching an average high of 9.6 percent in 2010. Typically, the poverty rate tends to move in a similar direction as the unemployment rate, so many analysts had been expecting a modest decline in poverty.

The latest census data show that the gap between rich and poor was largely unchanged over the past year, having widened since 2007 to historic highs.

No, the poverty rate wouldn’t tend to improve if the drop in unemployment only really signaled a mass exodus from the work force, would it?

As ever, President Obama and fellow progressive populists’ big defenses are that, A) Republicans obviously don’t care about poverty and are willfully obstructing the president’s glorious agenda out of pure spite, and B) that there have been economic gains, but that they’re mysteriously only going to the upper one or two percent of the oh-so-exploitative upper class. Republicans actually “want to accelerate” income-inequality trends, Obama insisted the other day — so it’s weird, then, that President Obama’s policies have been the very cause lately exacerbating income inequality and the stagnation and shrinkage of middle-class incomes:

The poor economic policies of the past few years is a reasonable explanation for today’s weak economy. Fiscal policy has at best provided temporary stimulus before fading away with no sustainable impact on growth. More costly and confusing regulations—including the many mandates in the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Act—have reduced the willingness of firms to invest and hire. The Federal Reserve has employed a variety of unconventional and unpredictable monetary policies with not very successful results.

The administration and its supporters are not about to blame the slow recovery on its own policies, or those of the Fed. Instead, President Obama and his supporters have been talking about “an economy that grows from the middle out,” as he put it in Galesburg, Ill., in July. The fashionable middle-out view blames today’s troubles on policies that took root in Ronald Reagan’s administration. …

Moreover, data do not support the view that tax cuts in the past 30 years are responsible for the widening income distribution. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the distribution of market income before taxes widened in the 1980s and ’90s by about as much as the distribution of income after taxes. …


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Nobama.

KCB on September 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Whatever the “official” numbers are — you know it’s much worse

ShainS on September 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

When the poverty line doesn’t move and inflation does, then you have poverty above the poverty line that you can safely ignore because, you know, they aren’t below the magic line.

ajacksonian on September 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Obviously the stupid middle class can’t appreciate all that he’s done for them. He needs to give more speeches.

Hill60 on September 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

“…as any middle-class family will tell you, or anybody who’s striving to get into the middle class, we are not yet where we need to be.”

Not with more and more of them identifying themselves as “lower class.”

de rigueur on September 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Obama…
Scum on the bottom of the barrel..

American Exceptionalism on full display..

Thanks Dems.

Electrongod on September 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

We aren’t there yet!

Yeah Barry. The Soviets tried for 80+ years and they never ‘got there’.

How long do you think you’re policies will take?

GarandFan on September 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

ajacksonian on September 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

All these lines! As long as none of them are red – then we’re fine. But even if they were red – he didn’t draw them. So, yeh – there’s that.

Hill60 on September 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Actually, obama has been wildly successful in achieving his goals – the economy is EXACTLY where he wants it to be.

DO NOT question the enemy within – he knows what’s he’s doing.

Pork-Chop on September 18, 2013 at 8:55 PM

The labor force participation rate sure has budged.

The number of people on disability has budged.

The number of people on food assistance has budged.

Murphy9 on September 18, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Greedy corporations!!

SouthernGent on September 18, 2013 at 8:58 PM

AP: For all of Obama’s “recovery” blather, the poverty rate isn’t budging

posted at 8:41 pm on September 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

…EXCELLENT!

KOOLAID2 on September 18, 2013 at 9:00 PM

AP: For all of Obama’s “recovery” blather, the poverty rate isn’t budging

Well, the solution is clear. Dear Leader needs to be elected to a third term. Heck, even FDR couldn’t fix everything in just two terms.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 18, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Since 1978, who was preznit then because I sense a possible correlation.

Bishop on September 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Poverty is liberal’s only accomplishment.

trs on September 18, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Obama gave yet another speech about how much the economy has ostensibly recovered since the financial crisis five years ago.
================================================================

Hopey the snake, speaks with fork-tongue,
make heap’em lie!!
(sarc)

canopfor on September 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Why would the leader of the Plantation Party try and do anything SERIOUS about the poverty rate?

He has his core constituency right where he and the other Democratic ‘leadership’ want them… and INTEND TO KEEP THEM FOR AS LONG AS THEY CAN TO HANG ONTO THEIR POWER…

Khun Joe on September 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Since 1978, who was preznit then because I sense a possible correlation.

Bishop on September 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Bishop:Peanuts eh:)

canopfor on September 18, 2013 at 9:24 PM

we are not yet where we need to be.

Barky and his junta need to be donning orange jumpsuits sitting in jail. Until this happens, Barky is going to continue to ignore reality and just tell more and more outrageous lies as his third-world policies and America-hate take what’s left of this nation apart.

Of course, Barky is aided by the fact that he doesn’t understand anything involving numbers greater than 20 or anything about fractions or percentages. Some of the few advantages of being an 84 IQ imbecile.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 18, 2013 at 9:26 PM

We learned today that the Fed intends to continue the QE indefinitely, which they laughably describe as a “priming of the pump”.

At what point do you give up and conclude that there’s something wrong with the pump?

Some recovery.

slickwillie2001 on September 18, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Barky and his junta need to be donning orange jumpsuits sitting in jail. Until this happens, Barky is going to continue to ignore reality and just tell more and more outrageous lies as his third-world policies and America-hate take what’s left of this nation apart.

Of course, Barky is aided by the fact that he doesn’t understand anything involving numbers greater than 20 or anything about fractions or percentages. Some of the few advantages of being an 84 IQ imbecile.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 18, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Not that unusual. It’s surprising how many people don’t understand what percentages are.

slickwillie2001 on September 18, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Why stop being “poor” when Obama gives you all sorts of goodies you’d have to earn if you had a job?

Decoski on September 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Come down off your throne
And leave your body alone
Somebody must change

You are the reason I’ve been
Waiting all these years
Somebody holds the key

When I’m near the end
And I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted
And I can’t find my way home

J_Crater on September 18, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Why stop being “poor” when Obama gives you all sorts of goodies you’d have to earn if you had a job?

Decoski on September 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM

We get what we pay for ….and libs are surprised?

If you pay someone not to work or not to improve themselves….guess what?

CW on September 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I guess this crew up in Washington views Atlas Shrugged as a blueprint for a successful, prosperous country.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 18, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Testing….your voting wont accept me…

tinkerthinker on September 18, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Liberals love the poor…..staying poor.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on September 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM

If one has the media in their pocket one can rule by illusions.

albill on September 19, 2013 at 5:30 AM

If one has the media in their pocket one can rule by illusions.

albill on September 19, 2013 at 5:30 AM

My father speaks about the days of Reagan and how the media pretty much laid the blame for the homeless right on his lap. He said it was the strangest news to listen to a about a thriving economy and all you heard about was the homeless not getting trickled on.

I still see homeless and many panhandlers. Where’s the bitching about the economy by the crusaders in the news?

smoothsailing on September 19, 2013 at 5:46 AM

If one has the media in their pocket one can rule by illusions.

albill on September 19, 2013 at 5:30 AM

My father speaks about the days of Reagan and how the media pretty much laid the blame for the homeless right on his lap. He said it was the strangest news to listen to a about a thriving economy and all you heard about was the homeless not getting trickled on.

I still see homeless and many panhandlers. Where’s the b1tching about the economy by the crusaders in the news?

smoothsailing on September 19, 2013 at 5:47 AM

the poverty rate was again stuck at an inexcusable 15 percent last year, via the AP:

I wouldn’t worry about that. With the fed monetizing the debt by printing 85 billion a month, we’ll see that number break loose. Right about the time gas goes from 3.50 as gal to 16.00 dollars. Then 6 months later it goes to 600 dollars. History say’s we’ll see those poverty rate numbers bust wide open soon enough.
Spreading the lack of wealth.

onomo on September 19, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Didn’t they change how the poverty rate was calculated last year?

I vaguely remember it being changed from cost of living to a percentage of the median income.

agmartin on September 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM