According to the federal government, some 46 million Americans live below the poverty line. But are all of those 46 million really living in poverty?
Not really, according to a collection of surveys of what the government defines as the nation’s “poor.”
A collection of federal household consumption surveys collected by pollster Scott Rasmussen finds that 74 percent of the poor own a car or truck, 70 percent have a VCR, 64 percent have a DVD, 63 percent have cable or satellite, 53 percent have a video game system, 50 percent have a computer, 30 percent have two or more cars and 23 percent use TiVo.
“What the government defines as poverty is vastly different from what most Americans envision,” he writes in his newly released book, “The People’s Money.” Consider other details from two recent Department of Agriculture surveys cited in the book:
–On an average day, just 1 percent of households have someone who is forced to miss a meal.
–On any day, children are hungry in .25 percent of U.S. homes.
–96 percent of poor parents say their children were never hungry during the year because they couldn’t afford food.
–83 percent of the poor said they have enough to eat.
One of my favorite anecdotes (more than likely apocryphal) is where an immigrant to America is asked why he moved here. “I wanted to live in a place where the poor people were fat,” he answered.
“Poverty,” when it is used by those in government, is a very watered-down term. Poverty numbers are calculated less to give the public an accurate measure of the problem than to justify ever-bigger budgets, and more expansive social programs.
The left puts their thumb on the scales, and then justifies policy using the phony measurements.