Barack Obama is manipulating poverty statistics to cover income redistribution on a massive scale. I covered this subterfuge in a previous American Thinker column, Obama’s Poverty Politics. The Census Bureau has redefined “poverty” in a way that vastly increases the ranks of those characterized as living in “poverty” or “near poverty.” Robert Rector , in Team O’s Poor Trick, wrote about the redefinition and its consequences (one that was barely noticed by the public):
Thus, it was foreordained that, using this new standard, the Census folks “discovered” that almost half the population is living in “near-poverty” conditions. That is, if you define “near poverty” as an income roughly equal to the median, that means that by definition nearly half the population will always be “poor” or “near poor” – regardless of any changes in actual living standards.
Obama’s new poverty measure will produce very odd results. For example, if the real income of every single American were to magically double overnight, the new measure would show no drop in poverty or “near poverty,” because the poverty- and near-poverty income thresholds would also double.
In other words, the president has introduced a statistical trick that gives new meaning to the saying that “the poor will always be with you.”
The shift seems designed to promote Obama’s obsession to “spread the wealth.” By suggesting that many more Americans are poor or near-poor, the Census generates political pressure to raise taxes and expand the welfare state.
The poverty level is key to all sorts of federal and state benefits. Therefore, the more people that are considered poor under the new Obama definition, the more they will be able to draw upon tax dollars for benefits.