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Welcome back well it may be good to be rich but it may not necessarily be bad being pour at least in America.
Our next guest says the standards are shifting and poverty in the US is not a description of hardship necessarily.
Just a comparison of what you have first as your neighbor Robert Rector is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
Helped write the welfare reform law's back in the ninety's good to see -- sir Robert.
Good morning how has the definition.
Of poverty in America change.
It's changed what the Obama administration is now changing the definition of poverty so that a family of four.
With full health insurance in New York City can be -- -- income of 39000.
In Oakland it's around 43000.
But the reality is that -- for years there's been a huge gap between what the average American thinks about when he hears the word poverty.
And even the old way that the government to find it.
When you see -- mainstream media running a story on poverty saying they're 49.
Million poor people.
-- feature homeless family but only about 2% of the poor homeless.
In fact the average poor American lives -- a house or apartment that's larger than the average non poor Frenchman German or English -- 80% of poor Americans under the old definition -- air conditioning two thirds cable TV half of them have a computer.
A third of them have a widescreen HDTV a quarter of them have a Tivo.
If you asked them was anyone in your family hungry at any free even a single day during the last year the overwhelming majority -- say no.
They have access to medical here.
Think they did they have no hardship what so ever.
There's a complete disconnect between the way the government defines poverty and the way the American people think about it and the way the media presents it.
Why does this matter when we shift this definition how does this affect the average American especially as we're having -- if fiscal cliff discussions in Washington right figuring out who's getting tax breaks cutting loopholes and so forth.
What the reality that is that we spend close to a trillion dollars a year on assistance to the poor cash food housing medical care that does not include Social Security.
That's been about 9000 dollars for each recipient.
-- -- 400 million people receive this aid it's a huge amount of spending and it's ridiculous to pretend that we can spend all that money.
And still have kids they don't have food to eat all over the country.
This is really an advertising tool the poverty measure an advertising tool for expanding the welfare state.
And for spreading the wealth by pretending that there's a massive amount of hardship that really doesn't occur anymore in our society.
Perhaps not getting the resources to those who truly need it the most Robert Rector senior fellow.
At The Heritage Foundation thanks for being on this morning.
Thank you put up --
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