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Hope & Change™ update: Poverty expected to reach levels not seen since mid-1960’s

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By Doug Powers  •  July 22, 2012 01:11 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Fortunately President Obama realizes this means he needs to do a better job when it comes to storytelling, so help is on the way:

The ranks of America’s poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the weeks ahead of the November elections.

The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest since 1965.

Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth.

Remember though, Hope™ does not get actualized in just three and a half years. And I’m sure those TANF work requirement waivers will help pull people out of poverty.

Tom Blumer at Newsbusters questions the timing of the AP’s story so far in advance of the release of the Census report. Could it be to soften the blow in case the Census report comes out in October? Say it ain’t so.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Barack Obama, Health care, New York Times, Paul Krugman