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Govt: Less poverty than expected

Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 03:54

Sept. 16 - Undersecretary of Economic Affairs for the Commerce Dept. Rebecca Blank says the poverty rate 14.3 percent was better than expected and government programs made a difference in poverty levels.

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The poverty rate rose to fourteen point 3% last year at the highest level since 1994. According to the Census Bureau Rebecca blank under secretary surprising was that the news wasn't worse many people are predicting a poverty rate over 15% in big -- in common we release almost no decline. The main explanation for that difference is government programs on Social Security really helped -- the elderly. Unemployment insurance really shows up is helping working age Americans. And the government stimulus dollars. Makes at least some difference in terms of those numbers since it transferred cash income. As well as have some tax effects on low income families and people were bracing for awards numbers that. That question and -- keeping that data accurately reflects the current state of the could it be improved and what we begin next year. So the poverty rate is you're looking at it simply tells you about cash income it doesn't take into account taxes. And most importantly for low income families it doesn't take into account a lot of other. Benefits that they receive through. The nutritional food stamp programs on the housing through on the Medicaid and other health insurance assistance. And what we're trying to do -- within the administration is produced an alternative popping up what we call the supplemental poverty measure. It's not meant to replace the official number it's meant to simply provide us with eight different major different plans. New information that uses a broader measure of family resources. And gives -- eight another take on how low income families are -- The poverty rate rose to fourteen point 3% last year at the highest level since 1994. According to the Census Bureau Rebecca blank under secretary for economic airs at Commerce Department joins us now to discuss the new data. So we're -- it. New data it just all out from the financial crisis of the last three years or is there more behind the numbers. So it's it was a sobering years everyone expected with poverty up and media income essentially flat. In 2009 that's not surprising given what happened unemployment and overall economic growth. What was actually surprising was that the news wasn't worse many people are predicting a poverty rate over 15% in big -- in common we release almost no decline. The main explanation for that difference is government programs on Social Security really helped -- the elderly. Unemployment insurance really shows up is helping working age Americans. And the government stimulus dollars. Makes at least some difference in terms of those numbers since it transferred cash income. As well as have some tax effects on low income families and people were bracing for awards numbers that. That question and -- keeping that data accurately reflects the current state of the economy. So I think the data reflects the what exactly what -- to measure which is the cash income in American families. At you know in the year 2009. Now -- many other resource is that Americans care about. Everything from housing values too if -- a poor person -- what you have access to food stamps housing support to Medicaid. And the data don't show you much about that those are not included in our apartment a year income numbers. But you know. Cash income as a very good measure of what are you getting from the workplace your earnings and it does show that you know that was affected by the recession. The numbers that we're talking about along with the numbers on Americans -- health care which you know -- in -- million. How can -- it -- to be greeted politically. So I think everyone knows 2009 was a bad economic here and that's since -- no surprises those people who want to use them to attack the administration obviously will. On the other hand I do think the fact that these numbers didn't come out as badly as expected. Is going to be important in the responses you all know a lot of this response is all about expectations. If you -- the expectations you know people jump on it if you're better than expectations and a little quieter about it. And I think the fact that these numbers look a little better than many people expected is going to be read by at least some. As evidence that some of the things that we were doing over this past year to offset the cost of the recession really did work. So at a high rate has been criticized for failing to account for increase living standards and pat -- on a port knocking it in the you're trying to -- These numbers and Mary anyway so when you look at this stayed at how could it be improved and what we begin next year. So the poverty rate is you're looking at it simply tells you about cash income it doesn't take into account taxes. And most importantly for low income families it doesn't take into account a lot of other. Benefits that they receive through. The nutritional food stamp programs on the housing through on the Medicaid and other health insurance assistance. And what we're trying to do -- within the administration is produced an alternative popping up what we call the supplemental poverty measure. It's not meant to replace the official number it's meant to simply provide us with eight different major different plans. New information that uses a broader measure of family resources. And gives -- eight another take on how low income families are -- Well a lot this is up hardware and -- it's a very long reports so -- next year. When you lock them out with the F supplemental one and it will be even more -- ever -- for you -- joining us appreciate it. I'm Rebecca blank under secretary of economic affairs at the Commerce Department I'm Jen Rodgers -- his right.

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Govt: Less poverty than expected

Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 03:54