STATISTICS: Those 26 Million Poor

The "war on poverty" that Lyndon Johnson launched in the mid-1960s began winding down when Richard Nixon and the Republicans moved into the White House in 1969, but many signs of L.B.J.'s battle are still around. One of them is the U.S. Census Bureau's annual reckoning of how many Americans are "poor." The latest report, issued three weeks ago, was a shocker: it counted 12.3% of the total population—precisely 25.9 million Americans—as living at or below the poverty line, the highest percentage of poor since 1970. Worse still, there were 2.5 million...

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