US poverty rate near 20-year high
15 percent of Americans now below the poverty line
- Duration 8:56
- Date Sep 15, 2012
15 percent of Americans now below the poverty line
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New numbers are in for poverty and they are not pretty folks 15% of Americans are living below the poverty line this is near a twenty year high.
And that comes as government spending on entitlements is near -- record high and some of the -- says that's actually the problem are they right.
Hi everybody I'm David has been welcomed to Forbes on FOX let's go in focus -- Mr.
Steve -- By the author of a new book called freedom manifesto regional lab might -- -- -- and is here as is Elizabeth MacDonald Rick Oliver Victoria Barret.
Brennan Steve first -- you our government entitlements actually making par pretty grow.
They are -- that we've had a half a century this war on poverty we've spent fifteen trillion dollars on this thing.
And we have a high rate today almost as -- as -- wasn't half a century ago even when times are good David the poverty rate doesn't fall very much it encourages all the things that -- in poverty.
Having out of wedlock births and things like that.
The only time poverty levels actually -- -- in the ninety's when you had on the state level real poverty reform welfare reform.
Then on the federal level it worked but today were spend a trillion dollars a year.
126 different programs seven cabinet agency six independent agencies and it's all for -- most of it.
And -- and that 1996.
Welfare reform act was it was a thing of beauty created -- a bipartisan manner with a democratic president Republican congress.
Don't we need another dose of bad.
Why you know why you can always look at how to improve welfare but let's let's not missing key statistic -- what you just said as you correctly pointed out.
It was twenty years ago when the number was just as high.
We were at the peak of -- last large recession.
When you have -- -- it naturally follows you're gonna have increased poverty the good news is.
It looks like the poverty rate peaked in 2011.
Looks like we're coming back down as things get better there's every reason to expect that that number is also.
Well Victoria guess -- -- turns out that when part when actually we were in the midst of the recession in the ninety's was one of the most.
Effective -- in the in the late ninety's late 1990s.
That's when welfare rolls were declining as a result of this welfare reform -- so it's not necessarily true that these things go hand in hand with a bad economy.
Diet I agree -- when you look at things over the long term and that half century.
That Steve was referencing since we began the so called war on poverty the numbers have continued to get worse and I think part of the problem.
Is -- where we're giving people subsidies government handouts.
And they don't really needed one stunning statistic I ran into this week is it 40% of American school children.
Are on free or subsidized lunches 40%.
That doesn't make sense in the reality behind that number is it.
Half of those probably really need those free or subsidized lunches we're subsidizing kids who don't really need.
That helped me.
And families who don't really need that help and what happens in the process is that the really poor kids.
Don't get the services they need so I think we should overhaul our entire -- our system.
And focus better services.
On the people who really -- general what also happens in the processes that you develop this culture of dependency welfare dependency.
Becomes an addictive narcotic I say that FDR said that Bill Clinton said that I mean this isn't just Republicans saying this.
This goes across the war it can become dependency as a result of welfare can become a very dangerous -- for our entire society.
I think we're actually putting the cart before the horse here.
One of the reasons we're seeing such a record high poverty rate is actually because we don't have jobs we don't have enough jobs.
And many of the jobs we do have are very poorly paying jobs so I would actually make the argument that entitlements right now are something that's keeping the poverty rate from going even higher.
They're a handful of reports that back me up here including the census report this week.
Which showed that if it wasn't for unemployment insurance and Social Security.
The -- poverty rate would actually be 8% higher than it currently is so yes do we need to take a whack at things like welfare down the -- yes.
But I think we need to focus on jobs first -- entitlements and -- -- on Johnny Mac and just glad I.
Hundreds of billions of dollars on guess what a jobs program some of these jobs by the way cost 500000 dollars you look at the windmill farms for example.
Which were extravagant expenses that cost taxpayers much too much money.
Why don't we apply some of those jobs to some of the welfare recipients because giving out well for recently at a job as the best way to get them off of welfare.
Yeah I mean that's the best for welfare is a job -- Kennedy said.
I mean EL -- I just -- the entire stimulus program towards small businesses create jobs and not what the government thinks it can.
Cherry pick in the -- and green energy jobs and look I'm not for this to -- the government village to create jobs.
I do think that though that we can we have been helping.
Poor people and we should the reason why that there welfare -- also dropped in the late ninety's because we're in a bubble era of a boom.
And you don't improve stents do help child poverty.
I think he's the food stamps for those kids absolutely.
I think that sometimes people are very humiliated those people were taking food -- are getting unemployment benefits.
A lot of government lifeline they don't wanna get a job on their own they just want an opportunity but -- ideally thank you about but it's not a mechanic a blanket statement that all people on welfare are bad or -- What I think you can make -- well I don't think you can make a blanket statement Mike goes Avian that there is a tendency to become dependent on welfare once it begins it's a very.
Republicans and Democrats have noted that it happens it happens across all levels of society by the way I've I've known people from.
From well off backgrounds who through no fault of their own go -- welfare and they have trouble getting off -- well.
And today the problem right now David is weren't a vicious cycle.
The more money we spend as a country on entitlements the less money is available to invest in businesses and create those jobs that Morgan pointed out we correct we needed.
Obama doesn't understand that he thinks by increasing entitlements you're gonna give people more money and that's -- revive the economy that has never -- what works is investment in businesses that create the jobs.
Then you don't need to spend so much on entitlement spending that's the way to go.
Number two we're spending about 20000 dollars per person on these all of these entitlement programs why not just -- the cash that's what you wanna do I would rather have them go for vouchers.
Scholarship school choice and improve the public schools by allowing parents to choose the schools instead of a -- I'm not -- back in back by the way one thing that that was changed by the welfare act in the old system before.
AFDC aid to families with dependent children.
The more money it got that change stuff fixed amount of money went to the states and they were sort of rewarded by adding to the welfare -- roles.
Now we're getting word from the from the Obama administration that that may change we may go back to the old system where in fact you get more money if you have more people on welfare rolls.
Is that right now I hear it didn't hear exactly what you're saying and look -- we've seen.
Studies of exactly what you're saying in places like Denmark in other words Denmark for example cut the jobless benefits by.
Two years and they saw the incentive worked for people to get worked.
Then when you start job -- dropping the dollar amount of unemployment benefits finally were early talk into seventy dollars a week a whatever it is.
That is embarrassingly small already can't live on that already but when you start dropping it yet it may be incentive to go out and get that job.
But I gotta tell you something and we we spent so much money and also -- different stupid government programs.
I'm all for helping the poor.
What -- say it was odd to Mike's point we're not give me the money did to stir in the economy were given the money because they're hungry I have to say -- -- That was the greatest speech I've ever heard you made and I absolutely mean necessarily.
Thank you Morgan is -- not a danger however with giving that money to people who become dependent.
On that gift.
Of course there could be that danger down the road but again the reason we have -- high poverty rate is because we have a weak economy and we don't have enough jobs.
Focus on the jobs that we can take care welfare I've set it on this program before in the past.
I think there's a lot of -- reform welfare down the road we can get really let me and when that.
But let's focus on that keeping right now is the war we spend on -- the more poor people we have I mean it is just you look at the stats that's when it says it may -- Again we are sharply slowed down the fall on the rate of poverty when we did these poverty programs they've finance massive political machines in these cities that don't help the -- -- And so why not do both have reform and get the economy moving again -- not nearly eight schools we got to leave it at that -- great discussion thank you very much coming up --