For perspective, as budget issues continue to take center stage in Washington, and welfare programs are considered sacrosanct by Democrats, here is information from a US Census Bureau report in 1990:

* 38 percent of the persons whom the Census Bureau identifies as "poor" own their own homes with a median value of $39,200.

* 62 percent of "poor" households own a car; 14 percent own two or more cars.

* Nearly half of all "poor" households have air-conditioning; 31 percent have microwave ovens.

* Nationwide, some 22,000 "poor" households have heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis.

"Poor" Americans today are better housed, better fed, and own more property than did the average U.S. citizen throughout much of the 20th Century. In 1988, the per capita expenditures of the lowest income fifth of the U.S. population exceeded the per capita expenditures of the median American household in 1955, after adjusting for inflation.

Emphasis mine.  Now, 14% isn’t a whole lot, and 22,000 even less so, but when Democrats talk about not paying for tax cuts or programs "on the backs of the poor", just realize what "poor" means in the US. I’m sorry, but if you have a swimming pool or Jacuzzi, you aren’t poor, and money can be saved on these programs. This was 20 years ago, and spending has only risen.

As an aside, I’ll bet that people getting assistance from, say, The Salvation Army, don’t get hot tubs from them.

Filed under: EconomicsGovernment

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