Thursday, August 26, 2004

We weren't supposed to notice

Where in the world would I get the idea that Bush isn't being totally straight with us? Maybe it's reports like this one:
Anticipating the release of devastating new poverty and health care statistics, the Bush administration today took the extraordinary step today of trying to bury the numbers. Specifically, the Administration had its top political appointee at the Census Bureau release the numbers a month earlier than usual, during the August congressional recess when many reporters and Americans take their summer vacations. The rescheduling of the announcement also means that the bad numbers will not come out in September immediately after the Republican National Convention, when they have traditionally been released.
Could the news actually be that bad? Well, yes it could.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some 1.3 million Americans slid into poverty in 2003 as the ranks of the poor rose 4 percent to 35.9 million, with children and blacks worse off than most, the government said on Thursday in a report that fueled Democratic criticism of President Bush.
Oh, is that all? Well, no it isn't.
Despite the economic recovery, the percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose for the third straight year to 12.5 percent -- the highest since 1998 -- from 12.1 percent in 2002, the Census Bureau said on Thursday in its annual poverty report. The widely cited scorecard on the nation's economy showed one-third of those in poverty were children.

The number of U.S. residents without health care coverage also rose by 1.4 million last year to 45 million, the highest level since 1999, and incomes were essentially stagnant, the Census Bureau said.


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