The Census Bureau’s recently created “Supplemental Poverty Measure” (SPM) looks like a ruse to artificially show economic and poverty-reducing improvement in time for the 2012 presidential election. Longer-term, it appears to be a rigged mechanism for demonstrating how ObamaCare, assuming it survives legal challenges and attempts at repeal, is a resounding success.
If I’m right, the press is doing a really good job of setting things up. A recent Associated Press item which gained an usual amount of traction in the center-right blogosphere with an unfortunate shortage of skepticism told us that “1 in 2 Americans are now poor or low income.” SPM, which is indeed what AP cryptically referenced, radically redefines what it means to be “low income,” in the process adding almost 40 million more people to that category in 2010 compared to the number in the bureau’s official income and poverty report.
The official poverty rate seems virtually assured to increase yet again when the bureau releases its results in September 2012, at which point the rate will likely be higher than at any time since the mid-1960s.
To be clear, the problem from Team Obama’s perspective isn’t that more and more people are living in economic misery. The real problem is that the American people have learned that
more and more of their fellow citizens are economically miserable. Even worse, they will have that message reinforced less than two months before Election Day 2012 — unless something is done about how poverty is measured and reported.
Enter SPM’s. But deception of the SPM system won’t be as immediately visible. Thus, ObamaCare will in its early years appear to almost painlessly move millions more from SPM’s “low income” category into the middle class. Again, thanks to artifice, Obama will look like a hero.
It must be nice to be able to create your own customized measurement to arrive at the conclusions you want. Don’t be deceived, and don’t let your friends be fooled.
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