This week’s census numbers on poverty in America might give some voters pause, since data shows that the number of poor families remained the same between 2010 and 2011. Still, Rev. Al Sharpton, in an op-ed at the Huffington Post, urges Americans to realize that despite the numbers, President Barack Obama has been able to institute change with legislation like the Affordable Care Act, which Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan oppose.
By now, most are aware of the magnitude and depth of the economic crisis that President Obama inherited in 2008. In addition to preventing the nation from falling off of a cliff, the President pushed forth a multitude of measures that haven’t even been factored into these latest poverty stats. Non-cash government aid like food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit and more aren’t included in the equation when these figures are compiled. If these programs were added, millions more would have been lifted out of the poverty category, according to Census Bureau officials themselves. While we are quick to look at the 15 percent figure, we must be cognizant of the fact that it does not represent the full scope of the issue or even the correct numbers. And more importantly, as we near this upcoming presidential election, we must remember that things like the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps and other beneficial programs would all be eliminated or greatly diminished under a Romney/Ryan plan. If we care about the poor and we want to continue reducing poverty rates, do we really think something like the Ryan plan which calls for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. is the way to go?
Read Reverend Al Sharpton’s entire piece at the Huffington Post.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.