Posts tagged ‘Aide To Children’

Census Bureau clarifies poverty numbers – U.S. News


Census Bureau clarifies poverty numbers – U.S. News.

Officials at the U.S. Census Bureau moved Friday to clarify widely reported figures meant to estimate the number of Americans living in poverty.

Dueling Census reports – one based on official poverty estimates that was released just last week and another based on an experimental calculus used in November – differed from one another by 20 percentage points regarding the number of people viewed as living in poverty. The widely reported figure showed that one out of two Americans are in poverty or are low-income. Other Census figures put the figure closer to one out of three Americans.
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That’s because the experimental measure, a supplement to the official poverty figures meant to take into account such factors as whether a family is receiving food stamps and how much people pay in taxes, uses a poverty level of $24,343 for a family of four instead of the $21,113 used by the official measure.

Read the original story on NBCLosAngeles.com

In expensive states like California and New York, the supplemental measure classified families making as much as $32,869 as impoverished.

However, Kathleen Short, the Census Bureau economist who spearheaded the supplemental report, said it would be wrong to extrapolate from those numbers that Americans are falling into poverty at greater rates.

In fact, she said, the experimental calculation indicated that poverty among children is actually lower than the official poverty rate shows.

On Thursday, reports in multiple news outlets suggested that people making roughly twice the poverty level under the experimental program were “scraping by” and should be considered low-income.

The Census Bureau does not support that interpretation of the data, Short said.

“Below 200 percent of the poverty threshold is the lower end of the distribution,” Short said. “But we would not call it low-income per se.”

A number of news reports on Thursday correctly said that more people fell under the definition of living in poverty under the experimental calculation, but then went on to say that people making twice that would be considered low-income.

However, the practice of using such figures as “150 percent of poverty” or “200 percent of poverty” to determine whether people were of moderate or low income is a practice that grew up around the older, traditional method of identifying poverty, which uses a lower threshold.

More from NBC4 on the Census reports: Assessing poverty

In parts of California under the supplemental approach, a family that owns its own home and earns about $66,000 per year would be earning 200 percent of the poverty level, and not necessarily be considered low-income.
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NBC4, relying on figures and analysis from the Los Angeles office of the Census, reported the newer, official poverty figures on Thursday, and questioned reports that used the supplemental figures.

A widely distributed news story by the Associated Press (and published by msnbc.com) relied on the supplemental report.

“We did not misunderstand the data,” AP spokesman Jack Stokes said in an email. “The AP story was vetted by the Census Bureau in Washington.”

However, Short said that she did not agree with the news service’s conclusion that the report showed one out of two Americans to be low-income or impoverished.

Short stressed that the supplemental measure was a work in progress, and that it should not be considered a replacement for the official poverty rate.

The AP’s calculations were correct, Short said, “but I’m not agreeing with any adjectives that are placed on being in that category.”

“In fact we stressed the Census Bureau does not have a definition for low income.” Short said

In the supplemental report, “we’re not characterizing what it’s like to be below 200 percent of the poverty line,” Short said. “We don’t have any information to characterize what that would be like.”

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Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawl After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers



First Posted: 01/27/2012 5:36 pm Updated: 01/27/2012 6:27 pm

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A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers.

“There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill.

The Supreme Court ruled drug testing for political candidates unconstitutional in 1997, striking down a Georgia law. McMillin said he withdrew his bill so he could reintroduce it on Monday with a lawmaker drug testing provision that would pass constitutional muster.

“I’ve only withdrawn it temporarily,” he told HuffPost, stressing he carefully crafted his original bill so that it could survive a legal challenge. Last year a federal judge, citing the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure, struck down a Florida law that required blanket drug testing of everyone who applied for welfare.

McMillin’s bill would overcome constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme in which people can opt-out of random testing. Those who decline random tests would only be screened if they arouse “reasonable suspicion,” either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

In the past year Republican lawmakers have pursued welfare drug testing in more than 30 states and in Congress, and some bills have even targeted people who claim unemployment insurance and food stamps, despite scanty evidence the poor and jobless are disproportionately on drugs. Democrats in several states have countered with bills to require drug testing elected officials. Indiana state Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) introduced just such an amendment on Friday.

“After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill,” Dvorak said. “If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. … If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.”

Dvorak said McMillin was mistaken to think testing the legislature would be unconstitutional, since the stricken Georgia law targeted candidates and not people already holding office.

McMillan, for his part, said he’s coming back with a new bill on Monday, lawmaker testing included. He said he has no problem submitting to a test himself.

“I would think legislators that are here who are responsible for the people who voted them in, they should be more than happy to consent,” he said. “Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test.”

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The White Myth: That BLACK PEOPLE Love Living On Government Issued FOOD STAMPS


Loop21 Composite
Loop21 Composite
A deconstruction of the theory that blacks love eating on the government’s dime

Check, please!

This week, I think we’ve all devoured enough processed garbage from the current crop of GOP presidential candidates to last a lifetime.

What might amaze many critically thinking, fair-minded individuals is how often unchecked the myth of “black food stamp fraud” goes. That, somehow, truly impoverished African Americans are unashamedly proud to swipe an EBT card in a crowded supermarket, where they have no doubt felt the stinging eyes of some misinformed snob’s fraud accusation. That they could otherwise afford the food and all other living expenses with their “pocket change” paychecks.

Let’s stop and really consider what we hear incessant griping about. A family takes the initiative to seek and use the vital benefits that are available to them. We’re not talking about an Air Jordan stipend, or per diem to see a movie every weekend. We’re talking a monthly allowance to insure children (and adults) don’t go to bed, to school, or to work with growling stomachs.

Just let that marinate.

When candidates serve up red meat to their base of voters, who already cannibalize their own manufactured outrage, it’s no wonder comments like this can go over well:

An easily fooled voter might go away not only believing that African Americans make up the majority of food stamps recipients, but are also the root cause of the federal waste bankrupting the nation and decaying its moral fiber.

————-

Food Stamp Use By Race* (as of the 2010 FY)

Whites: 35% participation | 63.7% of US population

African Americans: 22% participation | 12.2% of US population

Hispanic: 10% participation | 16.3% of US population

Asian: 2% participation | 4.7% of US population

American Indian: 4% participation | 0.7% of US population

Unknown race: 19% participation | 0.2% of US population

*Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census

————-

It’s funny how “40 acres and a mule” got downgraded to food stamps, Section 8 housing and conservative white (and black) disdain. Where have we gone to in this country when feeding your family — even if with candy bars, sodas and oily potato chips – is an irresponsible and unpatriotic pursuit?

Truth is, we’ve been there since before the ending of Jim Crow. The working definition of white supremacy is the belief that the white race is superior to other races. But it’s not just a feeling of superiority. I’d like to add a sense of white immunity from the societal ills facing all creeds. Let me interject and state that I’m by no means inducting Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich into the Ku Klux Klan.

I do want to draw attention to the numbers. There are more white recipients of food stamp benefits – now aptly named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – than there are black recipients. However, relative to their size of the population, African Americans disproportionately receive the benefits. It is a boldfaced lie to claim any group, white or black, can cause budgetary disarray if even 1 percent of that group fraudulently collected those benefits.

Why entertain that notion, as you run for the highest office in the world’s most powerful nation? If asked, Santorum and Gingrich would quickly disavow and condemn the white supremacist ideology with seasoned gusto. Instead, they choose to burn a new flaming cross into the concrete sidewalks and patchy strips of grass lining urban projects where American citizens, not just blacks, will sit down to meals paid for with EBT cards.

Pray the day when scenes out of “Precious” or “Crooklyn” aren’t the conservative Republican’s reference point for black blight. More egregiously, nobody (white or black) is going to ask these two banners of American society, Gingrich and Santorum, to apologize for demonizing the economically disadvantaged.

I won’t hold my breath for either.