US Poverty Rates Soar. Can We Tax The Rich Now?


Numbers released from the Census Bureau paint a bleak picture of American economic health. In 2010 the poverty rate has spiked to 15.1 percent, the highest level since 1993, median household income declined, and the number of people without health insurance soared.

Taken as a whole, the numbers present really one conclusion: this country is growing poorer with no immediate end in sight.

The numbers are especially bleak for women. children and minorities. According to the National Women’s Law Center there are now over 17 million women living in poverty, including more than 7.5 million in extreme poverty, with an income below half of the federal poverty line.

The poverty rate for Hispanics climbed to 26.6 percent and for blacks to 27.4 percent, again affecting children the most with 22 percent of our nation’s children living in poverty. Broken down by race that statistic becomes even more grim with 39 percent of black children and 35 percent of Hispanic children living in poverty.

For those families where women are heads of household 4 in 10 (40.7 percent) lived in poverty with more than half of the poor children living in female-headed families.

“Behind today’s grim statistics are real people who are finding it harder than ever to keep a roof over their heads, feed their families, get the health care they need and give their children a chance at a better life,” said Joan Entmacher, NWLC vice president for Family Economic Security.

The numbers are bad. Really, really bad and in a functioning political climate would be a cry for action. “The record numbers of women and families living in extreme poverty and without health insurance should send an urgent wake-up call to Congress to tackle the immediate deficit facing this nation — the lack of jobs — by acting swiftly on President Obama’s job creation proposals and passing a robust package that will put millions of American women and men back to work.”

So far, Congress hasn’t shown much interest, let alone compassionate outreach, to the ever-growing ranks of the poor. In fact, we’ve seen quite the opposite, and the numbers bear that out.  With a quarter of this country living in poverty the Republican intentions to dismantle our social safety net have now gone from ridiculous to downright dangerous.

Photo from francofelini via flickr.


aileen cheetham
Aileen C.4 years ago

These practices are destroying the USA and the UK, the number of countries with an ever increasing diiference between the Haves and the Have Nots, is growing.....They will be sorry. They will cause a planet wide collapse with riots and deaths not seen for centuries
Governments need to wake up and VERY SOON

Susan A.
Susan A.4 years ago

It is awful! And it'll get worse if the Republicans win in Nov...

Lyn Stuart
Lynda Stuart4 years ago

Same old same old! U will never see a rich person go to a shelter/soup kitchen & leave a cheque for $100,000 because they look down on lower class people. They are too much into building bigger portfolios for THEMSELVES. THIS GOES FOR BOTH USA & CANADA!!!

Heidi H.
Past Member 4 years ago

This is shameful.

Beth H.
beth Hall4 years ago

I'm disgusted after reading this!

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y.4 years ago

This is getting Dickensian.

Or maybe Swiftian: Next the plutocracy will tell us to chew on our limbs in lieu of unemployment.

Carole R.
Carole R.5 years ago

The middle class is disappearing. I don't like the side I'm slipping to!

Ray C.
Ray C.5 years ago

Steve B, I accept that US stop taking orders from England way back in time, however it is very clear from the English you have to a friend of my in my view as gutter talk as we Britain refer to it, if there is a Whore steven then it yourself and not my friend that you where indeed
referred to, one must think where was you learn your English in the sewer, you still need lesrn you English in a proper and more respectful manner and at least have respect for fellow Americans, Diane O, knows what she is talking about, you do not know what day it, but id my friend makes comment please with all due respect keep your Gutter English where you where from the Sewer and no doubt

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer5 years ago

Medicare provides health care for the elderly (over 65)who would bring the vast majority of claims if they were privately insured.

The private health insurance industry would have to pay more out in claims if Medicare was eliminated. It is no wonder that Medicare does not have stellar reputation and yet it is still chugging along and doing the job in a way that is satisfactory and preferred by those that have it and don't want to lose it.

We could get the same affect if government took over health care and expanded Medicare to cover everyone. That would mean that the young and the healthy would be involved as well, reducing the claims in medicare and resolving the current failings. Just imagine.

The only people that private insurance was providing health care to before the pre-existing conditions were eliminated were the young and the healthy or PEOPLE THAT DON'T REALLY NEED HEALTH CARE and are not going to file a lot of claims.

Despite that, privately insured health care cost was increasing by 25-30% a year in some cases and CEO salaries were expanding exponentially.

You can wrap the American flag around it all you want, but that does not make it the best health care system in the world. Just ask anyone with an HMO.

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer5 years ago

The Kiplinger Letter, Vol.88, No.33 for August 19, 2011, a business newsletter, stated that:

* * *
“U.S. multinationals are plowing more profits back into foreign markets, taking advantage of stronger economic growth overseas and saving on U.S. taxes. GE, for example, reinvested $94 billion abroad in 2010 double its 2006 figure. Chip maker Intel poured nearly $12 billion into foreign investments last year... up from just under 5 billion in 2006. All told about 25 % of S&P 500 firms’ profits won’t be repatriated this year. Health care and tech firms tend to reinvest much more.
Total foreign direct investment will hit the prerecession level later this year.
And for China...another record. It’ll nab $106 billion in foreign investment.”
* * *
This is why we are providing tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations so that it can fund the export of more U.S. jobs. That is the Republican plan and the efforts of the “job creators” they speak of. This means that tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations will result in more job losses then are actually created. The Republicans are “job killer” legislators in disguise.