Experts are predicting that 2009 census figures are going to show a significant jump in the number of Americans living in poverty. This development will have happened on the watch of Barack Obama, unfortunately for him.
According to AP:
“Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.
“Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.
“Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent. That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government’s role in social welfare programs from education to health care.
“Demographers also are confident the report will show:
“_Child poverty increased from 19 percent to more than 20 percent.
“_Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
“_Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.”
One can already remember the old adage, adopted for the current age. “Barack Obama must love the poor. He made so many of them.”
President Obama has tried many of the traditional liberal remedies to economic malaise, primarily a nearly nine hundred billion dollar stimulus package. Obama administration officials touted the summer now ending as “Recovery Summer”, a term that has become a sad joke to Americans still struggling with job shortage and low economic growth.
By contrast, the poverty rate under President Ronald Reagan actually decreased once the Reagan tax cuts took hold, according to a study by National Review, from 15.3 percent in 1983 to 12.8 percent in 1989.
The fact of poverty rates skyrocketing under Barack Obama and collapsing under Ronald Reagan should illustrate, if nothing else does, the efficacy of the economic policies of the two Presidents. Obama depends on government subsidies and various programs like “cash for clunkers” to jump start the economy. Reagan depended on across the board tax cuts and regulatory relief.
The Obama approach has failed. The Reagan approach succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of even its proponents.
In a way, we should have known which economic policies work and which ones do not already. FDR’s New Deal policies prolonged the Great Depression. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society caused the stagflation of the 1970s. We’re now learning those lessons all over again, much to our cost.
Sources: Record gains for US poverty with elections looming, Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti, AP, September 11th, 2010
The Real Reagan Record, Ed Rubenstein, National Review, June 10th, 2004