There is also an AP news article that's a few minutes old which notes that "Most of the unemployed no longer receive benefits". This is news? Those who are unemployed and not receiving benefits haven't even been counted as unemployed since back in the Reagan administration.
And yesterday, I read an article preparing us for the new poverty stats due out on Monday. The criteria to determine poverty looks at food stamps and other such assistance programs as income. WHAT? Such programs might be keeping folks out of extreme poverty, but without them being counted the number of extreme poor would be much much higher.
We need to stop using tricks to make someone, anyone, look good.
We must start a political revolution and get measurement yardsticks back to a position of truth, and not truth by omission. Let's get a real understanding of where we , as a country, stand. We need to push for this, write letters about this, and get it into topic debates by presidential candidates. Otherwise, government will continue to use 'make it better' tricks.
By the by, the current definition of poverty is a family of four with an annual income below $22,314 dollars per year. Forty six million of US received assistance from food stamp programs in August.
Such programs, of course, are about to go under budget cuts by Republican Tea Bag fiat. The US government has two weeks to pass the 2012 budget in time to avoid a government shutdown. And just weeks after that, if budget cuts haven't equalled a figure set during the summer showdown, unemployment, disability, food stamps, and other programs will undergo draconian cuts automatically. No one is saying anything, but the shit is getting very close to the fan.