The recession is officially over, with a quarter showing positive growth after 18 months. Hooray, hooray. Just like the war in Iraq is officially over. So why don’t we feel better? Meanwhile,
we get news like this:
In the second year of a brutal recession, the ranks of the American poor soared to their highest level in half a century and millions more are barely avoiding falling below the poverty line, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.
About 44 million Americans – one in seven – lived last year in homes in which the income was below the poverty level, which is about $22,000 for a family of four. That is the largest number of people since the census began tracking poverty 51 years ago.
The snapshot captured by the census for 2009, the first year of the Obama presidency, shows an America in the throes of economic upheaval.
Since 2007, the year before the recession kicked into gear, the country has almost 4 million fewer wage-earners. There are more children growing up poor. And for the first time since the government began tracking health insurance in 1987, the number of people who have health coverage declined, as people lost jobs with health benefits or employers stopped offering it.
With midterm elections less than two months away, the statistics bare the reality fueling much of the anger toward Washington.