Obama to move the goal posts on poverty measurement

This is really insidious - a means to an end that will impoverish the lower middle class who will fall that much easier into poverty.

Obama plans to change the definition of "poverty" says NRO's Robert Rector:

This week, the Obama administration announced it will create a new poverty-measurement system that will eventually displace the current poverty measure. This new measure, which has little or nothing to do with actual poverty, will serve as the propaganda tool in Obama's endless quest to "spread the wealth."Under the new measure, a family will be judged "poor" if its income falls below a certain specified income threshold. Nothing new there, but, unlike the current poverty standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.

The current poverty measure counts absolute purchasing power - how much steak and potatoes you can buy. The new measure will count comparative purchasing power - how much steak and potatoes you can buy relative to other people. As the nation becomes wealthier, the poverty standards will increase in proportion. In other words, Obama will employ a statistical trick to ensure that "the poor will always be with you," no matter how much better off they get in absolute terms.

[...]

The weird new poverty measure will produce very odd results. For example, if the real income of every single American were to magically triple over night, the new poverty measure would show there had been no drop in "poverty," because the poverty income threshold would also triple. Under the Obama system, poverty can be reduced only if the incomes of the "poor" are rising faster than the incomes of everyone else.

The change is political, of course - more justification for higher taxes on the 'wealthy" (soon to be middle class), and a larger slice of people identified as targets for the poverty lobby and bureaucracies.

What is really starting to bug me is the rank dishonesty involved with these kinds of stealth class warfare schemes. If they were so proud of what they were up to, why not just come right out and say that they are going to spread the wealth, make the distribution of wealth "fairer," and make more people dependent on federal handouts?

The reason is obvious; they couldn't get elected dog catcher on a platform like that. Hence, the subterfuge.

At bottom, liberals are arrogant cowards - so convinced of their own superiority but without the guts to brag about it too openly.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



This is really insidious - a means to an end that will impoverish the lower middle class who will fall that much easier into poverty.

Obama plans to change the definition of "poverty" says NRO's Robert Rector:

This week, the Obama administration announced it will create a new poverty-measurement system that will eventually displace the current poverty measure. This new measure, which has little or nothing to do with actual poverty, will serve as the propaganda tool in Obama's endless quest to "spread the wealth."

Under the new measure, a family will be judged "poor" if its income falls below a certain specified income threshold. Nothing new there, but, unlike the current poverty standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.

The current poverty measure counts absolute purchasing power - how much steak and potatoes you can buy. The new measure will count comparative purchasing power - how much steak and potatoes you can buy relative to other people. As the nation becomes wealthier, the poverty standards will increase in proportion. In other words, Obama will employ a statistical trick to ensure that "the poor will always be with you," no matter how much better off they get in absolute terms.

[...]

The weird new poverty measure will produce very odd results. For example, if the real income of every single American were to magically triple over night, the new poverty measure would show there had been no drop in "poverty," because the poverty income threshold would also triple. Under the Obama system, poverty can be reduced only if the incomes of the "poor" are rising faster than the incomes of everyone else.

The change is political, of course - more justification for higher taxes on the 'wealthy" (soon to be middle class), and a larger slice of people identified as targets for the poverty lobby and bureaucracies.

What is really starting to bug me is the rank dishonesty involved with these kinds of stealth class warfare schemes. If they were so proud of what they were up to, why not just come right out and say that they are going to spread the wealth, make the distribution of wealth "fairer," and make more people dependent on federal handouts?

The reason is obvious; they couldn't get elected dog catcher on a platform like that. Hence, the subterfuge.

At bottom, liberals are arrogant cowards - so convinced of their own superiority but without the guts to brag about it too openly.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky