By: Jeffrey Klein
Political Buzz Examiner
President Barack Obama is girding for what will likely be the mother of all bad sound bites come this fall, when just weeks before the election the 2011 census numbers will be released, which are expected to reveal that the poverty rate in America is the highest it has been since 1965–erasing all of the gains from the $15 trillion ‘War on Poverty’ during that time period, according to a Sunday Associated Press article.
The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, to as high as 15.7 percent.
Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out.
Battleground state suburbs in Colorado, Florida and Nevada are especially hard hit, with voters having to cope with their ‘new normal’ of living hand-to-mouth.
Demographers and economists predict that poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5 percent for many years, with peaks levels of 15 to 16 percent lasting until at least 2014.
Poverty is strongly correlated to joblessness, where the poverty rate tracks the unemployment rate, particularly during periods of economic downturn.
Even though the unemployment rate improved from 9.6 percent in 2010 to 8.9 percent in 2011, it has still been over 8 percent for the last 42 months–President Obama’s entire first term.
Also, the “Labor Participation Rate,” (number of people looking for work) drastically decreased from a pre-recession high of 66.4 percent to an all time low of 63.6 percent–because discouraged people simply quit looking for work.
If these people were included in the unemployment figure it would be at 14.5 to 15 percent.
Another indicator of poverty, the number of Americans on the food stamp roles also grew to the highest rate it has ever been, with now over 45 million (1 in 6 people) receiving them.
Now, as we march toward election day in November, Team Obama suffering the consequences of a long distraught citizenry, according to a new poll reported on in Sheldon Albert’s article in The Hill yesterday.
The poll of “Likely Voters,” was conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, found 53 percent of voters say Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down.
Further, voters were not shy about placing the blame, with 34 percent laying it at the feet of President Obama, 23 percent being allocated to Congress–and now only 18 percent of respondents still believing … “it is Bush’s fault!”
And fully 53 percent of voters say Barack Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down–in an apparent disagreement with him trying to blame anyone but himself.
As to the difference in vision between Romney and Obama, Rasmussen Reports polling of “Likely Voters” found that 62 percent view economic growth as much more important, versus the 30 percent who believe it’s more important for the government to ensure economic fairness.
As expected they think Mitt Romney favors growth, while President Obama is more focused on fairness.
Another recent Rasmussen poll found that 72 percent of “Likely Voters” took a sharp exception to President Obama’s … “If you are successful, you didn’t build that…” perspective, which he revealed during his Friday the 13th speech in Roanoke, Virginia earlier in the month, agreeing with the statement that ‘people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure.’
Only13 percent disagreed.
Most Americans believe entrepreneurs who start businesses do more to create jobs and economic growth than big businesses or government. They also believe overwhelmingly that small business owners work harder than other Americans and are primarily responsible for the success or failure of their businesses.
Finally, Mitt Romney appears to benefit from Obama’s fallout, as a USA Today-Gallup poll of 1,030 “Adults” (which are generally more favorable toward President Obama, versus polls that only survey “Likely Voters”) revealed that 63 percent viewed Romney’s business background as a strength in handling the country’s economic woes, versus 29 percent who viewed it negatively, according to Jonathan Easley’s article in The Hill today.
Easley concluded that a strong majority of Americans say Mitt Romney’s background in the private sector, including his management at the private equity firm he founded, Bain Capital, would help him make the right decisions on the economy.
He also said the poll results raise questions over the effectiveness of the Obama campaign’s barrage of pulpit attacks and ads highlighting instances of outsourcing by companies Bain invested in and businesses that folded or laid off workers after being acquired by the private equity firm.
Obama can’t seem to run or hide from his miserable first term record, even under the ‘most favorable’ circumstances.