by Max Brantley
Charles Blow of the New York Times provides some facts and figures that further illustrate how out of touch Mitt Romney (and John Burris) is on the number of poor in America and what it takes to be "middle class."
Blow reminds readers that Romney's budget proposal would further "take a chainsaw" to the porous federal safety net while giving a tax windfall to wealthy people like Mitt Romney. 10 million people would lose food stamps, for example. His tax plan would cut taxes by 3 percent for those making below $30,000 a year, but cut them by 14.5 percent for millionaires. You can guess whose programs would bear the burden of the budget reduction this would require.
Don't think the poor are small in number.
According to the Census Bureau, the official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent.
And that’s the income poor. It doesn’t even count the “asset poor.” A report issued this week by the Corporation for Enterprise Development found that 27 percent of U.S. households live in “asset poverty.” According to the report, “These families do not have the savings or other assets to cover basic expenses (equivalent to what could be purchased with a poverty level income) for three months if a layoff or other emergency leads to loss of income.”
More than 1 in 4 are struggling in poverty. Many of these, as working stiffs, don't qualify for that Beautyrest of a Medicaid safety net that Arkansas House Republican Leader John Burris, the unemployed, well-off legislator from Harrison, thinks provides so luxuriously for the slackers of Arkansas. Nor do they qualify for much of anything else. Except the focus of out-of-touch politicians who want to squeeze them harder so the rich can keep more money.