People in poverty increased at least 12.7% in 2008

The Huffington Post has a story, Number Of Poor In U.S. Likely Increased By 1.5M Last Year:

The ranks of poor and uninsured Americans are likely increasing – with more than 38.8 million believed to be in poverty.

The current U.S. population is estimated to be 307 million.

Rebecca Blank, the Commerce Department's undersecretary of economic affairs, spoke to The Associated Press in advance of next month's closely watched release of 2008 census data. Noting the figures are not yet final, Blank said the numbers likely will show a "statistically significant" increase in the poverty rate, to at least 12.7 percent. That would represent a jump of more than 1.5 million poor people compared with the previous year.

As previously noted, 34 million are on food stamps, or 1 in 9 people.

Gets worse. If the unemployment rate continues to rise, which still most economists are projecting, we get

Blank, a former co-director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, estimated earlier this year that poverty could eventually hit 14.8 percent or more if unemployment reaches 10 percent as some analysts predict – or nearly one out of every seven Americans.

What is not clear at all is are these U.S. citizens, legal residents or are they counting the illegals in these numbers.

The article also notes this will affect health care reform. If the CBO significantly underestimates the poverty population in the United States in it's projections, this is most assuredly true.

A final report will be out in September, but the article seems to imply 2009 is not included in these estimates. We know the real trough of unemployment happened in Q1 2009, so where are those jobs man?

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Jam Needed

With our leaders willing to deficit spend their way out of this mess, why are our they so fixated on banks and auto dealers? Oh, I forgot, poor people don't vote as much and don't make campaign contributions. But they also don't save. Perhaps the TARP funds could be reprogrammed so that assistance to the poor and disabled could be built into increasing their benefits under existing programs. Sure, you'll never see it paid back to the program, but you will see demand created -- they don't save.
Frank T.

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Frank T.