Wages Down, Poverty Up

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its latest report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004. The findings are not good for the American people.

Between 2003 and 2004, real median earnings among men dropped 2.3%. During the same period, the earnings of women fell just 1%. In 2004, there were 1,100,000 more people living in poverty than in 2003. While the numbers didn't move in the Northeast, South, or West, real median household income fell nearly 3% in the Midwest. Interestingly, the only group for which the poverty rate increased was non-Hispanic whites. Asians were the only group for which poverty rates actually declined. Fortunately, the poverty rate among the most vulnerable -- children under 18 and adults 65 and over -- did not increase from 2003. There was a half-percent increase for adults 18 to 64.

This data suggests that many of the people most likely to vote Republican -- Midwestern young and middle-aged white men -- are the ones hurt worst by the economic policies put in place by the Republican-run White House, Senate, and House.

And things are likely to get worse. This report comes right on the heels of the news that Congressional Republicans plan to push through major budget cuts in the next few weeks.

Lawmakers are drafting proposals that would cut billions of dollars from the growth of Medicaid, slice into student loans just as students return to college, pare back food stamps and trim farm price supports in the midst of a Midwestern drought.

The GOP plans to slash farm subsidies by $2.4 billion, Medicaid by $10 billion, and food stamps by $600 million. These public expenditures, especially Medicaid and food stamps will directly impact the people that this new economic data is already impacting the most.

The income and poverty estimates shown in this report are based solely on money income before taxes and do not include the value of noncash benefits such as food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing, and employer-provided fringe benefits.

If I can suggest to the GOP a name for their new budget cuts, how about "The Kick 'Em When They're Down Act of 2005?" It seems pretty accurate.

Tags: Money (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

The Trickle Down Is Just Around The Corner
The deluge will start any day now.

A very good question is whether Harry Reid is going to make even a feeble effort to oppose anything this session besides Social Security privatization.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-08-30 09:49AM | 0 recs
Corrections?
Is is just me or is this sentence out of whack:
"The GOP plans to slash farm subsidies by $2.4 million, Medicaid by $10 billion, and food stamps by $600,000 million. These public expenditures, especially Medicaid and food stamps will directly impact the people that this new economic data is already impacting the most."

2.4 million in farm subsidy cuts is nothing, a drop in the bucket, while $600,000 million is, what 600 trillion?  We spend 600 trillion on food stamps?!  Fact checker please!

And for that matter a 10 billion cut in Medicare hardly seems like much to crow about.  Not that a cut is a good thing under any circumstance, but not enough to get in a worth a row over.  

by Murdoch 2005-08-30 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Corrections?
Whoops...

$600 million it is.

by Scott Shields 2005-08-30 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Corrections?
...and $2.4 billion.  Duh.
by Scott Shields 2005-08-30 11:29AM | 0 recs
How about
the "We call ourselves Christians but hate the poor and needy and love greed Act"?
by Populism2008 2005-08-30 10:24AM | 0 recs
This is news?
Wages have been declining since the 1970s. The poverty rate has been increasing since 2002. Sorry to say it, Chris, but don't stop the presses.
by craverguy 2005-08-30 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: This is news?
Sorry, I meant Scott. I get front page posters mixed up sometimes.
by craverguy 2005-08-30 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: This is news?
What are you trying to say, that all bloggers look alike? Huh?

Joking aside, real wages are still not where they were in the early seventies, but starting in the nineties, they had been trending back upwards. That's why I think this information is valuable.

by Scott Shields 2005-08-30 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: This is news?
Do you know where one would go to find the raw data in order to make a graph?
by The Ticked Off Ohioan 2005-08-30 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: This is news?
Here you go:

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/005647.html.

Just dig around in the PDFs linked from the site.

by Scott Shields 2005-08-30 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: This is news?
Thanks!!
by The Ticked Off Ohioan 2005-09-01 06:14AM | 0 recs
Not bad
If I can suggest to the GOP a name for their new budget cuts, how about "The Kick 'Em When They're Down Act of 2005?" It seems pretty accurate.

I'm more partial towards the Empower The Rich & Embalm The Poor Act but unfortunately, that name was taken about 3 or 4 decades ago and now, since it has garnered more sequals than "Debbie Does Dallas", the name is just passe. True, but passe.

by Sizemore 2005-08-31 11:02PM | 0 recs

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