November 25, 2008

LEFT OUT OF THE BAILOUT: THE POOR

Mark Kukis, Time - As the roster of corporations and financial institutions on line for government bailouts seems to grow, some public policy advocates in Washington D.C. are calling on policymakers to focus more efforts on the nation's poorest. The ranks of the destitute are growing quietly but alarmingly as much of the world focuses on troubles surrounding Wall Street. . .

An estimated 36.5 million Americans currently live below the poverty line, but those numbers will likely increase by as many as 10.3 million if current projections for the depth and duration of the recession hold true. According to the center's analysis, the number of poor children will grow by as many as 3.3 million. And the number of children in deep poverty, those in families living on less than half the wages of the official poverty line, will climb by as many as 2 million.

Signs of the recession's impact on America's impoverished are increasingly apparent. . . The number of people using food stamps has risen 9.6%, or roughly 2.6 million people, between August 2007 and August 2008, the last period for which data are available. Food banks around the country are reporting longer lines even as donations are falling.

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