U.S. sees highest poverty spike since the 1960s, leaving 50 million Americans poor as government cuts billions in spending… so does that mean there’s no way out?
The number of Americans living in poverty has spiked to levels not seen since the mid 1960s, classing 20 per cent of the country’s children as poor.
It comes at a time when government spending cuts of $85 billion have kicked in after feuding Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a better plan for addressing the national deficit.
The cuts will directly affect 50 million Americans living below the poverty income line and reduce their chances of finding work and a better life.
Poverty in the USA: Nearly 50 Million Americans on Food Stamps – US food stamp use swells to a record 47.8 million
A record number of Americans are using food stamps, known today as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Despite official proclamations that the recession has ended and an economic recovery is underway, families are turning to SNAP benefits in record numbers. The working poor comprise a growing number of food stamp recipients, and about half of those receiving benefits are children.
Enrollment in the food stamp program has increased by 70 percent since 2008, to a record 47.8 million people as of December 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The biggest factor driving the increase is the stagnating job market and a rising poverty rate. This means that a staggering 15 percent of the US population receives food stamp benefits, nearly double the rate of 1975.
In 2008, at the onset of the recession, 28.2 million people were enrolled in SNAP. While the official jobless rate, which peaked at 10 percent in 2009, had dipped slightly to 7.7 percent as of February this year, the SNAP program has continued to grow. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that food stamp usage will drop only marginally, to 43.3 million people, by 2017. Even this estimate is predicated on the unemployment rate dropping to 5.6 percent over the next four years.
The number of people using food stamps roughly corresponds to the number of Americans living in poverty, which rose to just below 50 million people in 2011. Utilizing the Supplementary Poverty Measure (SPM), which factors in expenses for food, clothing, shelter, health care and other essentials, the US Census Bureau estimates that nearly one in six people in the US is living in poverty.
In U.S., Child Poverty and Hunger Rates Remain Alarmingly High
Alarming statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month revealed that hunger and poverty rates in the country remain high, particularly among African-American children.
The U.S. Census Bureau determined that 25.1 percent of African-American households and 29.2 percent of households with children are food insecure.
US poverty spikes but help from Washington shrinks as government struggles with debt
OECD: Jobless Young Adults Could Slow Down Global Recovery
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