Tags: California | Census Bureau | Welfare

California Now Has Highest 'Poverty' Rate

Friday, 21 November 2014 04:04 PM Current | Bio | Archive

A recent report by the Census Bureau that features a new way of measuring the poverty rate shows California boasts the nation’s highest level. Higher than Mississippi. Higher than West Virginia. Higher than all of the other states the swells in Los Angeles like to ridicule.

This is probably because the residents of those states have moved to California to take a seat aboard the Sacramento gravy train.

In 2012, California, using money from federal, state and local sources, spent an incredible $69.1 billion on welfare. That’s almost one–third of all of state spending. That figure alone might explain why although the Golden State only has only one–eighth of the nation’s total population, it has one–third — there’s that number again — of the nation’s population that collects welfare benefits.

According to the new Census Bureau calculations, which include more data on income and cost of living expenses, California has 23.4 percent of its population living in what federal bureaucrats define as poverty. The second highest jurisdiction is that other exemplar of the government handout, Washington, D.C. — at 22.4 percent.

Before we go on, it is important to put context behind what is called poverty. As Dennis Prager pointed out earlier this week, “Over 99 percent [of those defined as poverty–stricken] have a refrigerator, television, and stove or oven. Eighty–one percent have a microwave; 75 percent have air conditioning; 67 percent have a second TV; 64 percent have a clothes washer; 38 percent have a personal computer.

"Seventy-five percent of the poor have a car or truck. Only 10 percent live in mobile homes or trailers, half live in detached single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments. Forty-two percent of all poor households own their home, the average of which is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage and a porch or patio.”

And should they need to reach their caseworker, 80 percent own a cellphone. In other words, people living in poverty in California would be called middle class in most of the rest of the world.

California’s poverty rate isn’t a symptom of the failure of the state’s taxpayers to do enough. It’s a symptom of leftist Democrats and their bureaucrats doing too much.

Lavish welfare spending combined with a benefits–first, accountability–later (if ever) mentality means that California is attracting low income people that come here to take advantage of taxpayer generosity.

It’s a problem that will never be solved, or reduced for that matter, as long as the engineers in Sacramento continue to shovel tax dollars into the gravy train’s firebox.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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California’s poverty rate isn’t a symptom of the failure of the state’s taxpayers to do enough. It’s a symptom of leftist Democrats and their bureaucrats doing too much.
California, Census Bureau, Welfare
Friday, 21 November 2014 04:04 PM
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