American poverty rate “hits 15-year high”

The US poverty rate has risen to its highest level in 15 years, while the overall number of Americans living in poverty hit its highest mark since the 1960s, the US government said in a report.

Released on Thursday by the US Census Bureau, the report on the economic well-being of US households covered 2009, the first year in office by Barack Obama, the US president and followed a recession that left millions of people jobless last year.

The report showed that one in seven Americans lived in poverty last year, while the overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 per cent, or 43.6 million people, from 13.2 per cent, or 39.8 million people, in 2008.

Obama’s trying to turn around a runaway locomotive – fired by decades of criminal obeisance to corporate needs established as the highest priority by Congress. The Republicans are the worst; but, that’s not saying a helluva lot.

Democrats who knowingly collaborate – mostly since the watershed year of 1994 and the Gingrich/Republican contract on America – are as guilty of selling out the working people of this nation.

Obama called 2009 a tough year for working families but said it could have been worse.

“Because of the Recovery Act and many other programs providing tax relief and income support to a majority of working families – and especially those most in need – millions of Americans were kept out of poverty last year,” Obama said in a statement.

The US government defines poverty as a family of four living on less than $22,000 a year.

While poverty levels rose, the share of Americans without health coverage also rose from 15.4 per cent to 16.7 per cent – or 50.7 million people – mostly because of the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession…

Voters fretting about high unemployment and the slow pace of economic improvement will decide whether to keep Democrats in power in the House and Senate or turn to Republicans.

And don’t kid yourself. Between ignorance and complicity, our electorate is perfectly capable of bringing back the worst of the criminal class in Congress. Ideologues play American voters as thoroughly as do the advertisers who sell us mediocre food and overpriced homes.

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