47.8 Million People Live in Poverty -- Far More Than Previously Thought

The Census Bureau has released new estimates that show the US poverty
rate is far higher than previously thought, with 1 in 6 Americans
living below the poverty line, reports the AP. Unlike the official
poverty rate, the new numbers take into account medical bills as well
as transportation costs and work expenses. The number of seniors
living in poverty almost doubles under the new formula, according to
the AP.

The report also found that in 2009 many families were saved from
poverty by government aid programs like work stamps and tax credits.
The piece quotes a Census Bureau research economist who says:

    Under the new measure, we can clearly see the effects of our
government policies ... When you're accounting for in-kind benefits
and tax credits, you're bringing many people in extreme poverty off
the very bottom.

Less likely to pull people out of poverty: showboating about the
deficit, threatening Social Security, promising to repeal health care
reform and other preoccupations of the newly inaugurated Republican
By Tana Ganeva | Sourced from AlterNet
Posted at January 5, 2011, 4:08 pm

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