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Impeach Bush

Ranks of Poor, Uninsured Rose in 2003
ABC News/The Associated Press
Aug. 27, 200

WASHINGTON Aug. 27, 2004 — Democrats took aim at President Bush's economic record after release of a Census Bureau report showing the ranks of the uninsured and the impoverished grew in 2003 for the third consecutive year while incomes stayed level.

The president's surrogates came to his defense, noting that the numbers failed to reflect more recent economic gains, such as the addition of 1.5 million jobs over the past 12 months, or the full effect of the Bush-backed tax cuts.

But with jobs and health care key issues in a tight presidential race, Democratic challenger John Kerry said the data was evidence that the incumbent's economic policies had failed poor and middle-class Americans.

The reports released Thursday provide a snapshot of Americans' economic well-being in 2003, two full years after the end of the recession. In 2003, job growth was slow until the second half of the year while wages overall were stagnant. Many of those who did get jobs were faced with accepting scaled-back benefits and pension plans.

"The good news is that this is what one would expect since we are still coming out of a recession," said Sheldon Danzinger, co-director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

Still, the growing number of workers who didn't get wage increases last year likely helped boost the number of poor people in America, he added.

There were 35.8 million people living in poverty last year, or 12.5 percent of the population. That was 1.3 million more than in 2002.

Children made up more than half the increase about 800,000. The child poverty rate rose from 16.7 percent in 2002 to 17.6 percent.

The government definition of poverty varies by the size of the household. For instance, the income threshold for a family of four was $18,810, while for two people it was $12,015.

More people lacked health insurance as well about 45 million last year, or 15.6 percent, compared with 43.5 million, or 15.2 percent the previous year.

The rate of uninsured children was relatively stable at 11.4 percent, probably the result of recent expansions of coverage in government programs covering the poor and children, such as the state Children's Health Insurance Program, analysts said.

The census report found that median household income, when adjusted for inflation, remained basically flat last year at $43,318. Whites, blacks and Asians saw no noticeable change, but Hispanics' income fell slightly.

Plus, earnings for women age 15 and older working full-time and year-round slipped last year, the first annual decline since 1995, though earnings for comparable men remain unchanged.

Bush, campaigning in Las Cruces, N.M., didn't directly address the Census Bureau reports but reiterated his contention that the economy is improving because of his policies.

"We have more to do to make this economy stronger," Bush said. "We've overcome these obstacles because the entrepreneurial spirit is strong and the small business sector of our economy is vibrant. I also think we've overcome it because of well-timed tax cuts."

In a statement, Kerry noted that during the years Bush has been in office, 5.2 million people have lost health insurance and 4.3 million have fallen into poverty.

"Under George Bush's watch, America's families are falling further behind," Kerry said.

Republicans noted that the number of people with health insurance also increased up 1 million to 243 million. And in a conference call, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson placed some of the blame on Congress for failing to adopt Bush's health care plan. "The big failure is not what is happening in the administration," Thompson said.

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., countered that Bush supported rollbacks on overtime pay and refused to raise the minimum wage that would have helped middle-class Americans "while lavishing billions of dollars in tax breaks on the wealthiest Americans."

Besides showing the Bush tax cuts aren't working there's a statement in this article that needs to be destroyed. "'The good news is that this is what one would expect since we are still coming out of a recession,' said Sheldon Danzinger, co-director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan."

I'm not sure what planet this person is living on but the recession ended in 2001. This is not what we'd expect almost three years AFTER a recession ended.

Poverty rates soar after recessions and recessions are caused by the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates. Greenspan began increasing rates in 1999 and kept them high until Bush was elected in 2001. Then after the damage was done (a recession was), he lowered rates to help Bush. Greenspan will always do what's best for the republican party, regardless of how much damage it causes to the US economy. Greenspan lowered rates in Jan. 2001 to help Bush, but no matter what he does he still can't undo the damage caused by himself and Bush's policies. Poverty is up because Greenspan and Bush failed.

Greenspan also increased rates during 1993 and 1994 so republicans would have an issue to use against democrats. Consumer confidence fell like a bomb and republicans took control of the Congress.

Each time Greenspan raises rates, he creates more poverty for Americans while giving more power to the republican party. He raised rates in 1993-1994 and 1999-2001 and both times it helped his party and he cut rates after his party gained power in 1995 and 2001. The damage to the economy has been enormous.