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Election 2012: What about the poor?
President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have different ideas for helping the poor.
November 5th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Election 2012: What about the poor?

By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - One wants to strengthen the nation's existing safety net. The other wants to overhaul it.

President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have vastly different views on how to help the 46.2 million Americans in poverty and the more than 30 million people who are near poor. The president leans toward expanding the programs that exist, while the Republicans say they will set up a system that fosters economic opportunity instead of government dependency.

The ranks of the poor and the government programs that assist them swelled during the Obama administration, largely because of the Great Recession. The number of people in poverty jumped 16% between 2008 and 2011, while the Medicaid rolls jumped 23.5% over that time. Food stamp enrollment soared 46% during his term.

Just who is elected president matters a great deal for the poor. In the weeks following Election Day, the president and lawmakers will have to deal with large, across-the-board cuts in domestic spending scheduled to take effect in January. While certain programs for the poor, such as food stamps and Medicaid, would be protected, other initiatives, including Head Start and housing assistance, could be slashed.

Read the full post on CNN Money's Economy blog
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Filed under: 2012 Election • How we live • Politics • Poverty
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    When I was between a rock and a hard place after losing a 12-year construction job, government aid helped me tide my family over so that I could get a degree. 14 years later I'm working in the architectural and facilities management industry, and I wish other folks in my old situation would understand the chance they've been given to educate themselves and get ahead as far as they are able to go. Carpe Diem, before some rich, let-them-eat-cakes politician takes it all away, and the opportunity has passed.

    November 6, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. M.P:.

    The "poor" in my town get free food, subsidized housing, free heat, free phone, free medical care. It's a joke...my mother is an optometrist, and people on Medicaid get two pairs glasses/year, all the contacts (including COLORED contacts) and two exams/year for NOTHING. Now, they are also getting a free membership to the YMCA. These people don't work, and yet they have a 50% no show rate. It's a total joke and a disgusting insult for people who have to subsidize things they themselves cannot afford or must shell out big bucks for.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeSmitters

      Well...you could vote against that if it offends you so much. The only problem is that CRIME WILL GO UP if you take their 'benefits' away.

      Here's how I see it. I'm a broke college student (only make $18,000 a year-that's gross, not net income). I eventually plan to start my own business. But even though I'm pushing myself through college (tried getting food stamps, make 'too much' unless I end up getting a kid), once I get my degree...I could care less about people getting the free stuff. Know why? They will more than likely stay that way for the rest of their lives.

      I mean, what's the point of even getting mad who you are goin to be 300%+ better off than them?

      November 7, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |