When Americans think of poverty, we tend to picture people who can’t adequately shelter, clothe, and feed themselves or their families.
When the Census Bureau defines “poverty,” though, it winds up painting more than 40 million Americans–one in seven–as “poor.”
Census officials continue to grossly exaggerate the numbers of the poor, creating a false picture in the public mind of widespread material deprivation, writes Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector in a new paper.
Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:
● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.
● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.
● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and–if children are there–an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.
● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.