Follow Up Friday: Poverty Line, Post Office Clause, Food Stamp Eligibility

Friday, September 16, 2011

Poverty expert and manager of the Half in Ten Campaign at the Center for American Progress, Melissa Boteach, follows up on the census report with an explainer on where we place the poverty line. Plus: follow-ups on the post office and food stamps. 


Melissa Boteach

Comments [8]

Kudos to all those who commented after me.
I'm fighting for the CPI-E COLA measure so that Clinton's CORE CPI & CPI-W can be retired. Let us also remember the premiums, deductibles & copays that SS recipients pay TO Medicare out of their benefits.

From TV school - Ms. Eddings neither asked the guest or in the story asked "Why" the clause was put in the Constitution. Which would connect the segment better. Leave out out a W or the How & you might leave out the context/history necessary for the audience.

Sep. 16 2011 04:24 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

My comment was directed to Robert form NYC.

Sep. 16 2011 10:50 AM
Sophie from Pougheekspie, NY

I was thinking the same thing!

I don't understand why money spent on utilities, childcare, transportation, rent, etc. is not calculated. All these costs are REAL! I know I just bought heating oil and groceries and gassed up the car and now I have $50.00 to last until next week!

Sep. 16 2011 10:49 AM
John Hamilton from Yonkers

A question I have about the working poor is to what degree are we subsidizing their cheap labor. We pay for section 8 housing, "foodstamps" and emergency room costs which are a loss by our hospitals passed on to the rest of us. This seems an unfair prop to unviable businesses.

Sep. 16 2011 10:43 AM
Robert from NYC

So do you think a family of 4 can live well, even only "well" on $30,000/annum!!!? I don't think so. As with everything else, this is NOT 1960 and it's time to change the so called "poverty line". And don't forget the single people too. My 17k/annum doesn't cut it either. Let's rethink this the way we seem to rethink how banks get their interest rates adjusted over the years. Adjustments should apply everywhere where money is concerned. How simple does it get. My SS payments haven't "adjusted" in three years yet my rent went up annually, my utilities got increases annually, food increase is actually reported in the news. If that's not COL (cost of living) in COLA then what is it? Food, rent, utilities aren't costs of living!!

Sep. 16 2011 10:40 AM
Hugh Sansom

It should be noted that the federal government — under Democrats and Republicans — has repeatedly redefined unemployment and the Consumer Price Index to (1) take better account of economics and (2) to lower numbers, save money, etc. (Those two criteria are compatible with each other.)

So why is poverty left as is? Because there is no way to redefine it plausibly in a way that won't reveal the picture is WORSE than popularly described (by politicians and journalists).

The blunt fact is that _most_ Americans have been seeing living standards decline for 40 years — forty. There was an uptick in the 90s and 00s because of the dotcom bubble and then the housing bubble. But that's gone, and Obama has pretty much in line with Republicans in making things worse. Even many _conservative_ economists concede this. (Obviously not all.)

Sep. 16 2011 10:40 AM
Poppy Orchier from Manhattan

I was just listening to the segment and a clip was played from an old "West Wing" episode. They misidentified my great-aunt Mollie Orshansky, a government economist who developed the poverty line in the early 1960s. They described her as an Eastern European immigrant, but in fact she was born here in New York City. Her parents, my great-grandparents, emigrated from Russia in the early 20th century.

Sep. 16 2011 10:38 AM

Why no connection of the Post Office Clause to the 1st Amendment???

That equals sloppy followup.

The post office was established to support freedom of the press/freedom of speech.

It's time to start connecting the dots. Without postal service we could not have had our revolution.

Sep. 16 2011 10:33 AM

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