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Obama’s Poverty Program: Hope!
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review picks up on a very implausible campaign promise from Barack Obama....
Asked by Sojourners President Jim Wallace whether he'd commit to cutting poverty in half in 10 years, Obama stalled for all of one sentence before answering.

"And I absolutely will make that commitment," Obama said.
Unless Obama is suggesting massive, direct cash transfers to the poor, I'm not sure how this is even remotely plausible. Poverty rates don't account for many of the anti-poverty programs (food stamps, housing, health care), so increasing many poverty programs won't impact the poverty rate. Meanwhile, the mean number of income earners in households making less than $25,000/year ranges from .23 to .84. They're poverty-stricken because - for a variety of reasons - they're not actually working. So not only will Obama's "living wage" proposal not help them, it's likely to make work even harder to find.

So, barring massive income transfers or a magical job-training program that not only provides skill-sets but also creates jobs ex nihilo, what's the plan here? Or is this just an absurd campaign promise that he knows he can't keep, but figures nobody will actually call him on?

That is a rhetorical question.
 
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If I’m elected president, the poverty level will be cut to 37 dollars per year I’ll cut poverty in half. Vote for me.
 
Written By: acm
URL: http://
Even if he said yes on cutting poverty in 10 years, he’s only in office for a max of 8.


8IFXnU mhjsndnpew
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
At first I thought it was just confusion with the global poverty bill Obama introduced last December.
S. 2433: Global Poverty Act of 2007

A bill to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-2433
But no, it’s a new War On Poverty. See bama’s Windmill-Based War on Poverty. Astonishing! Obama links it to the "bitter" slip-up.
BARACK OBAMA: Well, first of all, Jim, I appreciate the good work you’ve been doing on these issues. And I absolutely will make that commitment. Understand — understand — understand that when I make that commitment, I do so with great humility because it is a very ambitious goal. And we’re going to have to mobilize our society, not just to cut poverty, but to prevent more people from slipping into poverty. You know, this actually goes back to the earlier point you raised where Senator Clinton suggested I was being elitist when I said that people are frustrated and bitter. That is absolutely true. That’s not just true in small towns. That’s true in urban areas. That’s true in my community of the south side of Chicago. Because people feel forgotten. They feel as if nobody is listening in Washington. And that every four years we have politicians who come out and make promises and they’re not kept. And so that’s why I wanted to put the caveat on there. I make that commitment with humility because we’ve got a lot of work to do economically in this country to bring about a more just and fair economy.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Let’s watch your language, shark!
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
You guys are overthinking this. Just raise the poverty line until half as many people are under it. Problem solved.
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://phelps.donotremove.net
...Senator Clinton suggested I was being elitist when I said that people are frustrated and bitter. That is absolutely true.
Potential Quote of teh Day?
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://phelps.donotremove.net
I, too, was going to run in here with the obvious "redefine the poverty line" crack... but it occurs to me this is closer to the truth than we may realize. The way most people really define poverty in this country, like so many other problems, is "How often do I hear about Poverty on the news?" This is why people’s perception of crime is so out of whack with the reality, because it all comes from the news.

Assuming the media continues to lick Obama’s boots and worship the ground he walks on, I’m sure he will be perfectly capable of cutting poverty news stories in half! A few subtle hints and the word will be out, and within a year, it’ll only be "crazed right-wing-nuts" claiming that there is a poverty problem of any kind.

(Sometimes I think electing a Democratic President would be worth it, just to get the press to lay off of its unrelenting stream of doom and gloom for four years.)
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
You know, had his response been "as President, I can’t do that, even if it was possible - which it isn’t - and I’m not going to either lie to you or assume you’re a moron, and tell you I can", I’d respect that.

On the other hand, "yes, of course I will" registers as no more than "typical politician pandering".
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
Unless Obama is suggesting massive, direct cash transfers to the poor, I’m not sure how this is even remotely plausible.
You know, you really shouldn’t snark this one off the table. Not at all. I believe its in the realm of possibility a substantial ’wealth transfer’ of some kind is at least a part of Obama’s plans for the future.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
If the bottom % of income is "poor", how can it ever be eliminated?

 
Written By: Director Mitch
URL: www.windowmanager.blogspot.com
By flattening everybody’s income to the same level, of course, by government fiat. That this just might have unintended secondary effects seems utterly incomprehensible to some people; I don’t just mean "they consider the argument and reject it", I mean, they can’t even think that thought.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
If I become president, you will all have bigger dicks. Except the women, and they will have men who have bigger dicks. Except, of course, for the lesbians, and they will are receive bigger strap-ons.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"I believe its in the realm of possibility a substantial ’wealth transfer’ of some kind is at least a part of Obama’s plans for the future."
You know, as long as we’re speculating, I’m betting that the sun is going to pop over the mountain here in about six hours.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Just raise the poverty line
You mean "lower the poverty line", right?

:) Sorry. That kinda thing just bugs me...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I wonder when Obama’s going to steal Tax Hike Mike Huckabee’s line about "raising hope" when he starts talking about raising your taxes.
 
Written By: Kevin
URL: http://www.thelibertypapers.org
I wonder when Obama’s going to steal Tax Hike Mike Huckabee’s line about "raising hope" when he starts talking about raising your taxes.
I think John McCain already beat him to it:
"They’re going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars per year, and they have the audacity to hope you don’t mind."
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"I believe its in the realm of possibility a substantial ’wealth transfer’ of some kind is at least a part of Obama’s plans for the future."
You know, as long as we’re speculating, I’m betting that the sun is going to pop over the mountain here in about six hours.
Maybe if that sun decided to go supernova at six hours and a minute.

I kind of understated it for effect but apparently it didn’t come across.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://

 
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