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Are you poor if you have a flat-screen TV?
CNN Money ^ | August 1, 2012 | Tami Luhby

Posted on 08/06/2012 5:55:15 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Can you really be poor if you own a flat-screen TV ... or two? Depends on whom you ask.

With income inequality at the center of the national political debate this year, it should be no surprise that conservatives and liberals are coming down on opposite sides of the tracks.

Conservatives point to spending patterns, saying consumption is a better indicator of living standards than income. Using that metric, the nation's poor are living better than they have been in decades, enjoying many of the amenities that the middle class have.

(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: classism; poverty
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1 posted on 08/06/2012 5:55:24 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

I am insulted. They do not even include me.....I would be between 80 and 120 (the much lower side). Are they going to start giving out TV’s now? Cell phones, food stamps, low housing, welfare dollars, lower heating bills. Might as well throw in TV and cable because it is just money.


2 posted on 08/06/2012 5:58:43 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Attention Republican National Convention voters....Santorum/Bachmann 2012! Dump liberal Romney NOW!)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Obviously the “income” number is meaningless.

But since it helps the liberal goal of dependency, the MSM will continue to consider it gospel.


3 posted on 08/06/2012 5:59:29 AM PDT by nascarnation
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

World median income is about $2/day.
If you’re living on more than half the world’s population, you’re not poor.
If you’re buying luxury goods at prices which could feed someone for a year (see my tagline), you’re not poor no way no how.


4 posted on 08/06/2012 5:59:45 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Full cable with lots of premium stations plus a 50” LED TV...... Lots of our “poor” have setups like that. Because they are making off the books money while getting all kinds of Gov’t money and subsidies. These chiselers are always networking and exchanging tips on how to get more out of the Gov’t. How about a tip on who to see at the SS office to get your children crazy checks which are disability payments because the kid got an autism diagnosis. What friendly shrink to see who will give your child the right diagnosis.


5 posted on 08/06/2012 6:02:16 AM PDT by dennisw (Government be yo mamma - Re-elect Barack Obama)
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To: dennisw

I’m not poor so long as I can still borrow money.


6 posted on 08/06/2012 6:05:50 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

the “poor” have more disposable income than us working folks, because of all the government freebies; food, shelter, medical care, subsidized utilities, cell phones, transportation and straight up cash (EBT Cards), just to name a few things.


7 posted on 08/06/2012 6:07:21 AM PDT by kevslisababy
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To: napscoordinator

-——food stamps, low housing, welfare dollars, lower heating bills——

The key to access is an EBT card. We have progressed to the point where any one can purchase a device that plugs in to a smart phone to allow payment with plastic.

One wonders if your friendly street corner crack dealer can swipe your EBT card as the Friendly Grocery Store and have us pay for the high?


8 posted on 08/06/2012 6:07:28 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Go to Sam’s or Wal Mart some day and check out the prices of flat screen TVs in the 32” to 42” range. There are quit a few that can be had for under $500 and some that come in under $300. Even somebody with a pretty low income can afford one of those. Indeed, in inflation adjusted dollars, flat screens are really cheap compared to their old CRT predecessors. No way they can be called luxury expenditures.


9 posted on 08/06/2012 6:07:53 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Oh no I’m poor...I have never owned more than one TV. My kids never had them in their rooms. I guess I’ll go be depressed...NOT.


10 posted on 08/06/2012 6:09:25 AM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We're an Oligrachy...Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
With income inequality at the center of the national political debate this year

Is it? Is it really? Because it sounds more like an Obama class warfare talking point to me.

11 posted on 08/06/2012 6:09:52 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: dennisw

It would be fun to do a “Breitbart” investigation by somehow getting the cable bills of poor neighborhoods around the country.

A tv station here in Indy got a computer file of where TANF EBT card swipes were made - Vegas, Disney, Nevada brothels, Puerto Rico, NYC, etc.


12 posted on 08/06/2012 6:10:29 AM PDT by nascarnation
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To: napscoordinator

Don’t forget to add schooling for the kids (not just regular k-12—but schooling for 1 and 2 year olds) and free food for them there and medical.

I went over to a person’s house the week before last. She and her kids receive a lot of tax payer benefits. They’ve got a flat screen TV and game system. She’s got a fancy cell phone. Her husband (an illegal) has a newer truck. This person isn’t an evil person, but she’s got a welfare mindset. She was telling me about some small windfalls they came into, but those won’t be saved. They’ll be squandered.


13 posted on 08/06/2012 6:11:11 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: bert

One wonders if your friendly street corner crack dealer can swipe your EBT card as the Friendly Grocery Store and have us pay for the high?

I didn’t think about this but after pondering for a minute, I am going to say absolutely they can. It is a little machine and they can even name it something like “Lifestyle choice” for the bill and nobody would be the wiser.


14 posted on 08/06/2012 6:11:41 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Attention Republican National Convention voters....Santorum/Bachmann 2012! Dump liberal Romney NOW!)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

“If you took the typical poor household and put them on TV, no one would think they are poor,” he said. “They struggle to make ends meet, but they are not in any type of deprivation.”...There ARE NO poor, or deprived in the US.


15 posted on 08/06/2012 6:12:10 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: beaversmom

This person isn’t an evil person, but she’s got a welfare mindset.

Most people on welfare are not evil just misguided and so infused in the system that they become the system. It is so sad to see this. Sure they have SOME luxuries but if they would get a career and really start working they would be so much better off.


16 posted on 08/06/2012 6:15:00 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Attention Republican National Convention voters....Santorum/Bachmann 2012! Dump liberal Romney NOW!)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

No. Next question.


17 posted on 08/06/2012 6:17:02 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: napscoordinator

I don’t have a flat-screen TV. Not one. (Okay, okay, we do have 5 flat screen computer monitors. But not a single TV. As much as we pay in taxes you’d think Obama could could say “thanks” by buying me one, like he does for his people on welfare.)


18 posted on 08/06/2012 6:19:49 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
That kind of "poor" is not the kind of "poor" that more money will fix.
19 posted on 08/06/2012 6:23:14 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
With income inequality at the center of the national political debate this year

Only among social-engineering totalitarian leftists.

20 posted on 08/06/2012 6:24:46 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

The things controlled by the free market(TV, cells, DVD) are getting cheaper.

The things with gov’t involvement (education, heath care costs) are much more expensive and getting worse.

Go figure.


21 posted on 08/06/2012 6:28:08 AM PDT by Holen1 ("Those possessed by nothing possess everything.")
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To: libstripper
No way they can be called luxury expenditures.

It still costs the same as feeding someone for several months. Maybe it's not luxury, but it sure ain't poverty.

22 posted on 08/06/2012 6:31:10 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
Silly me I thought poor was Vienna sausages and Ramen noodles for lunch and dinner.
23 posted on 08/06/2012 6:33:01 AM PDT by Hope for the Republic (The 1st amendment is guaranteed by the 2nd amendment.)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
I can not get TV anymore since the government “improvements of signal”. The Internet works better.
24 posted on 08/06/2012 6:34:13 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: libstripper
Even somebody with a pretty low income can afford one of those. Indeed, in inflation adjusted dollars, flat screens are really cheap compared to their old CRT predecessors. No way they can be called luxury expenditures.

I don't have a spare $500 laying around to be wasted on a flat screen tv. Our "new" tv is one of those older ones with the big backside that was given to us when someone with a larger wallet than me bought a flat screen. Anything above the utility bill and groceries is considered a luxury item here. Last luxury expenditure I made was for some flip flops on sale about 3-4 years ago. I'd be rich if I were getting government freebies like half the populace I'm supporting.

25 posted on 08/06/2012 6:38:42 AM PDT by bgill
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

There is some reality show on cable about a pawn shop in Detroit. These allegedly destitute people are lined up halfway to Ann Arbor trying to pawn their flat screen TV’s. The guy has so many of them in inventory you wonder how he could squeeze in one more.


26 posted on 08/06/2012 6:42:30 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: napscoordinator

Just ONE of hunfreds and hundreds of examples on google, and it likely barely touches the surface.

EBT Card Scam Shut Down In Lynn
December 13, 2011

“It was pretty straight-forward,” says Giles. “You need cash, come down here and trade your food stamps for cash.”

During a yearlong investigation, undercover police say they discovered a scheme where stores not only bought EBT cards at half price, but also hooked up card sellers with crack cocaine dealers.

According to prosecutors, some of the stores did over half a million dollars in EBT fraud during the last 18 months alone.
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/ebt-card-scam-shut-down-in-lynn/


27 posted on 08/06/2012 6:50:06 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

I guarantee you when I was growing up in the fifties with my other five siblings, we were far more materially poorer than today’s poor. But we didn’t think we were poor. In fact, I wouldn’t trade the conditions under which I grew up with any of today’s superrich, materially wealthy kids with their own room and every electronic gizmo their parents shower on them. We had a great place to grow up, because we had a great neighborhood with a lot of kids, empty fields close by, and hills to climb. All a kid (or at least a boy like me) needed was a bike, a baseball glove, and an imagination. We had a lot of fun with just a few material things.


28 posted on 08/06/2012 6:51:20 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

The “War on Poverty” has been won.
Poverty - living on less than ~$7.25/hr - is illegal for most practical purposes. Between minimum wage and prolific welfare, law gives one no viable option of living on less.

There are no poor here. A 20th-percentile income, yes, there will always be bottom-quintile occupants by definition; poor, no, they are legally obligated to accept handouts.

The problem is those who waged the “War on Poverty” won’t declare victory. Instead, they double down (er, up) the definition of “poor” and demand a new campaign be waged on behalf of ever more who don’t need it.


29 posted on 08/06/2012 6:54:39 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

With income inequality at the center of the national political debate this year


“Income inequality” - A line of thinking straight out of the Communist Manifesto.Since when does income have to be equal? I thought grown ups understood that life is not necessarily fair.


30 posted on 08/06/2012 6:55:53 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Behind enemy lines in the city where it's illegal to buy a Big Gulp)
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To: Holen1

You may be on to something. Using inflation calculator I priced my first new car, a 1773 fully equipped 4 dr Maverick. Using the calculator the cost of that car would buy me a fully equipped 4dr Focus. A much better car with far more bells and whistles.Competition and technology seem to kee prices stable. Food prices might be lower if we were allowed to drill for fossil fuels here and not burn our corn for gasoline. Lower fuel prices would mean lower utility and food bills, not to mention transportation. As far as health care, why does no one question why competition exists in cosmetic and lasik surgery and veterinary medicine? Because they’re covered neither by govt or most insurance. Govt interference is an obstacle to a higher standard of living for the poor.


31 posted on 08/06/2012 7:03:32 AM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: libstripper

Oh NOES! I DON’T HAVE A FLAT-SCREEN TV! I IS POOOOOOOOOR!


32 posted on 08/06/2012 7:09:31 AM PDT by no-s (when democracy is displaced by tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote)
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To: no-s

Well then some of us are ‘poor’ by choice in that regard.
My old GE 20 inch CRT (tube) TV works perfectly fine with my $29.00 Dish Satellite service per month. Maybe I should reverse my debt-free status and then borrow big $$ to buy a 52 inch flat screen, with premium all channels/movies access.
Then I can watch way more TV and a lot less time on FR. So what if the IQ drops 20 points afterwards—at least I would be richly poor as the new status symbol.


33 posted on 08/06/2012 7:22:16 AM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: libstripper

Absolutely, flat screens can be manufactured and are therfore sold much cheaper than CRT’s. Also, LCD screens are nuch cheaper to produce than plasma.

Remember back in the 1980-90’s when a Sony 27” CRT tv cost $650. Now you can buy a 42” plasma for $499 and a 32” for $249. Of course, these flat screens will not last as long.
I still have a Mitsubishi 13” color tv I bought in 1985. It sill has a great picture. I paid $300 for it. I also bought a 4 head stereo VCR for $400 at the time.


34 posted on 08/06/2012 7:25:14 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
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To: xkaydet65
Using inflation calculator I priced my first new car, a 1773 fully equipped 4 dr Maverick.

Gotta consider that after 239 years it has almost completely stopped depreciating...


35 posted on 08/06/2012 7:26:08 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: driftless2

In most cases, “poor” is a state of mind having nothing to do with material resources.

Which is why the Left’s “War on Wealth” will fail. They won the “War on Poverty”, but only by forcing the poor to accept handouts, missing the point of makes poor “poor”. Take everything away from the rich, and they will be rich again because they live the true essence of rich. Give everything to the poor, and they will still be poor because they live poor. Equalize all wealth possession, and soon society will stratify to exactly what it is now.


36 posted on 08/06/2012 7:28:05 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: napscoordinator

If I were emperor, All companys that sell such things as cell phone service, cable/satalite TV service and such, would not be able to sell to people on public assistance. This would be one of the biggest motivators to NOT be on public assistance.


37 posted on 08/06/2012 7:28:24 AM PDT by Boiling point
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To: Boiling point
All companys that sell such things as cell phone service, cable/satalite TV service and such, would not be able to sell to people on public assistance.

Instead they go and lobby the Government for the Obamaphone program so that they can sell to people with no money. Commissions, bonuses and stock price gains for all!

Mark my words, "free" Gubbermint-provided HBO is not far off.


38 posted on 08/06/2012 7:32:28 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Personal Responsibility

The problem with “income inequality” isn’t the truism “life isn’t fair”, it’s that inequality is not proof of unfairness.

Some people just can’t deal with the idea that others leveraged the same opportunities into orders of magnitude more wealth - such people think that inequality is proof of theft and demand restitution, which is absurd as they cannot articulate what was stolen.

Give two people a pound of dry corn. They have equal wealth. One eats the corn, leaving no wealth - he is now “poor”. The other plants the corn, multiplying his wealth - he is now “rich”. There is nothing “not fair” here, just consequences of choices. The Left, alas, tells the first that the second, being “rich”, somehow “owes” the first - if only out of “fairness”. Persuasive, but false.


39 posted on 08/06/2012 7:40:44 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

This neglects a major point: the poor are often poor because they make awful decisions in a whole wide range of things.

Take an adult who is poor, and one who is “self-made” middle class, and look at just their economic decisions. Often why they are the way they are is really obvious.

Give them both $1000. Often the poor person will say: “Hot dog, I’m rich. I’m gonna buy me some drugs, some lottery tickets, and get me a big screen teevee on layaway!”

The middle class person will see $1000 more realistically, first checking if it will foul up their taxes or get them in trouble for some reason, but they are less impressed by the amount, as it is more marginal to them. Then they think in terms of practicalities and “opportunity costs”. “My car is due for maintenance, and this might offset *part* of that; but I also need a new printer for my business.”

But this is just money. For the poor, the bad decisions just keep on coming, guaranteeing they and their family will remain poor.

“I want to get a tattoo on my face! All the 7th graders have them! And my baby daddy will think it is hot when he out of prison!”


40 posted on 08/06/2012 7:44:51 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: xkaydet65; Buckeye McFrog
1773 fully equipped 4 dr Maverick

Did it come with a built-in musket rack?
41 posted on 08/06/2012 7:52:56 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia (Be careful of believing something just because you want it to be true.)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Some might be poor BECAUSE they have a flat screen TV and spend all their income on entertainment and never do anything productive with their lives.


42 posted on 08/06/2012 8:00:20 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

I just got my first flat panel a couple of months ago. Poor me.


43 posted on 08/06/2012 8:15:38 AM PDT by citizen (It's no longer Obamacare. It's Robertscare now. He wanted it, he bought it, he owns it.nn)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

You cannot be poor if you are overweight. You cannot be poor if you have air conditioning. You cannot be poor if you have indoor plumbing. America’s definition of poor has changed but mine has not. I grew up poor and now consider myself wealthy. Most people would look at my possessions and think that I am lower middle class. I live in a barn with air conditioned living quarters. I have indoor plumbing and never miss a meal. I drive a ten-year-old truck. I am warm in the winter and cool in the summer (even in this 108 degree temperatures we are having). My clothes are jeans and shirts without designer names stitched on them. I have at least two coats that I wear in winter. I have satellite TV and also a cell phone. In 1950 not even the wealthy had all these things. So I am wealthy. Thank God for the wealth we enjoy in America.


44 posted on 08/06/2012 8:22:39 AM PDT by barnrat
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To: Buckeye McFrog

That show shows a sampling of the true scum of the earth.
Everyone needs to view it 1x.
My girl friend watched it here one time and thought it was fake.


45 posted on 08/06/2012 8:28:41 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: barnrat
America’s definition of poor has changed but mine has not.

America has the worlds fattest and richest poor people.

46 posted on 08/06/2012 8:34:24 AM PDT by rllngrk33 (Things will continue getting worse until January 21, 2013.)
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To: barnrat
America’s definition of poor has changed but mine has not.

America has the worlds fattest and richest poor people.

47 posted on 08/06/2012 8:38:57 AM PDT by rllngrk33 (Things will continue getting worse until January 21, 2013.)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

If a person with two TV’s loses their job and becomes poor, are they still poor?

If a poor person is given a TV, are they still poor?

If a poor person buys a used TV for $25 at a garage sale are they still poor?

I think TV ownership as an indicator of poorness is ridiculous.


48 posted on 08/06/2012 8:42:17 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Poverty is a big government industry and a vehicle to justify the extortion of taxes.

The federal government has a vested interest in keeping the official poverty levels up and uses various underhanded tricks and half truths to accomplish that.

If there is a dishonest way to evaluate and present data or to run a program you can be certain the federal government is doing it.

Example: When a person receives welfare, food stamps, medical care, aid for children, EIC money (reverse taxes) from the IRS, etc., etc. none of the money or the value received is counted as income.

So the person remains listed as below the poverty line even though all the freebies and handouts often put their actual disposable income way above the line.

Many people classified as in poverty actually end up with more cash to spend than others who hold jobs and live on their own income.


49 posted on 08/06/2012 9:04:34 AM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: rightwingintelligentsia; Buckeye McFrog

LOL!!


50 posted on 08/06/2012 9:11:35 AM PDT by xkaydet65
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