Census data shows 48 percent of Americans are either “poor” or “near poor,” the Associated Press reported yesterday, perplexing everyday people and delighting the nation’s harshest critics here and abroad.
The AP story implied this staggering news was the result of deteriorating economic conditions. In fact, though, the number of “near poor” Americans increased dramatically because the Obama administration dramatically (but quietly) changed the official definition of poverty.
Traditionally, a U.S. household was considered “low income” or “near poor” if it had income below 200 percent of the official poverty income thresholds. The Obama administration has raised those income thresholds and thereby transformed the way the government measures poverty and near poverty.
Under President Obama’s new definitions, a family of four in Oakland is “near poor” if their annual pre-tax income is less than $89,700 plus medical insurance. In metropolitan Washington, D.C., the near-poverty line became $80,500. In New York, it’s now $78,500; in Boston, $68,900; and Chicago, $68,600.
Now, one would think that, after three years in office, a President would take pains to minimize the reported numbers of poor in his country, as this unfortunate statistic could be laid firmly at his feet. Ah, yes but. IF it is a fundamental component of your social agenda to highlight how many distressed, poor, disenfranchised, needy, hurting people there are in the country who are desperately in need of your federally-funded social programs, well then perhaps you’d want to spin the numbers a different way.
People dependent on a government for their subsistence are, in fact, dependent on the government. They are beholden to the people who control their income. And as such, are that much more susceptible to influence, coercion and control.
Obama is pushing with everything he has to implement more and more “social controls” on our society. Re-branding the middle-class as “near poor” greatly widens the pool of proles to whom he can refer when justifiying both his war on “the rich”, and progressive and onerous taxation to fund all these programs for the poor.