RUSH: We did the stats on the war on poverty and the status of poverty in this country, and we spent a lot of time on Robert Rector’s analysis. And it was stunning, the details. I think it’s important to keep drumming this a little bit. There’s a new addition to it today by Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post. The first paragraph’s all that’s necessary to read here. It says: ‘The government last week released its annual statistical report on poverty and household income. As usual, we — meaning the public, the media, and politicians — missed a big part of the story. It is this: The stubborn persistence of poverty, at least as measured by the government, is increasingly a problem associated with immigration. As more poor Hispanics enter the country, poverty goes up. This is not complicated, but it is widely ignored. The standard story is that poverty is stuck; superficially, the statistics support that,’ but it’s not.
‘Look again at the numbers. In 2006, there were 36.5 million people in poverty. That’s the figure that translates into the 12.3 percent poverty rate. In 1990, the population was smaller, and there were 33.6 million people in poverty, a rate of 13.5 percent. The increase from 1990 to 2006 was 2.9 million people (36.5 million minus 33.6 million). Hispanics accounted for all of the gain.’ So the uneducated and unemployed illegal immigrants are the ones that are being talked about here, not legal immigration. It’s something that can’t be denied. ‘ Whatever one’s views, any sensible debate requires accurate information. There’s the rub. Among many analysts, journalists and politicians, it’s politically or psychologically discomforting to discuss these issues candidly. … Journalists are also leery of making the connection. Fifty-four reporters signed up for the center’s briefing last week. With one exception (me), none asked about immigration’s effect on poverty or incomes. But the evidence is hiding in plain sight, and the facts won’t vanish just because we ignore them.’ Bias! Bias is the reason the truth in its entirety doesn’t make the papers when the poverty story comes out, and a lot of other things. Bias doesn’t move the story forward.
There are two stories here for the Drive-Bys: Poverty, bad, horrible, getting worse, Republicans’s fault. They don’t like charity. They don’t like welfare payments. They want people having to get up and work. Democrats are compassionate and concerned, and they have all kinds of care. Number two is the immigration story. These are the backbone of America, remember that? Remember the debate this past summer, the illegal immigrants, the backbone of America. Well, poverty is going down among the general population. The only reason the poverty percentage stays where it is, is because of the illegal immigration of untrained, uneducated people. None of those two facts advance the narrative, advance the action line of the Drive-By Media, so they ignore them. They just flat-out ignore them. In fact, they ignore the even good news in the poverty story because there isn’t good news in the poverty story. If there is, we’re going to ignore it, not going to report it, because poverty is a great issue for the Democrats. We have a Democrat candidate basing his whole candidacy on it. He ought to be disqualified simply on the basis of the news that the Census Bureau put out.
RUSH: Lisa Fabrizio, who writes for the American Spectator.org, the online version, has her take on the welfare numbers, the poverty numbers. She’s got a couple of interesting points here after going through some of the numbers that we went through yesterday that Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation came up with. ‘The point being,’ she writes, ‘that the depth of poverty that exists in too much of the world is basically nonexistent here. But although our poor are better off than those in most of the world — so much so that millions of impoverished foreigners are willing to risk their lives and break our laws to join them — some Americans do live in unfortunate, if not dire, circumstances. Of course, the major difference is that the poor in this country have the opportunity to improve their lot.’ It’s called FREEDOM. ‘All Americans used to know the way to prosperity for themselves and their families. It was, and is, pretty basic: a two-parent family working as diligently as possible. In his piece, Rector concludes: ‘In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family…” Listen to this. I know it’s tough to follow the numbers out there, but try to keep track here. ”In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year — the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week through the year — nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty.” So the point is that when people talk about people in poverty not working, all this talk about the minimum wage and, ‘These people are valiantly and valorously giving it their best! They’re out there struggling. They’re doing everything they can, but, damn it, the Republicans have stacked the deck against them! The Republicans don’t want them to earn any money. They want them to eat bugs and dirt and so forth,’ the fact is, they’re only working 16 hours a week, the ones who are really genuinely in poverty here, as we define it. So when this subject has come up before, and I’ve had people on the phone talk about it, I’ve said, ‘Why don’t they just go get jobs?’
‘Oh! That’s really easy for you to say!’
‘Yeah? It’s what we all do.’
‘Well, that’s very insensitive.’
‘What do you mean, insensitive? Work is good! Work brings all kinds of good things. It fills the day. It gives a sense of achievement. It gives expectation. It provides hope, accomplishment, money, income, all that sorts of things.’
‘Well, yeah, easy for you.’
‘What if we all took the route that says, ‘You know, I’ll let somebody else do the work; I’ll sit in the cart while somebody else pulls it,’ and so forth?’
Anyway, these numbers establish that poverty in this country is largely a result of people not working, and you can’t say there aren’t any jobs out there. We have full employment left and right. Of course there are ‘jobs Americans won’t do,’ we are told, but they are, nevertheless, available.