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On being poor
People line up at a food pantry. The number of people in poverty rose in 17 states, the Census Bureau says.
September 20th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

On being poor

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) The Census Bureau released a depressing statistic Thursday: 46.2 million people in America fell below the poverty line last year. One in five children are poor. 

What does it feel like to live in poverty?

Writer John Scalzi knows.

He remembers a Southern California childhood marred by a broken family. His mother put her two children in the back of the car and drove away from the home they’d known.

She bought a box of Raisin Bran and warned her children: “That has to last.”

John Scalzi's essay on poverty was based on his own experiences.

Scalzi, 43, was in the first grade then.

Years later, the Raisin Bran memory became a line in an essay called “Being Poor.” He wrote it in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when so many asked why the poor of New Orleans had not fled their drowned city.

It occurred to him then that wealthier Americans did not understand that the poor do not always have the luxury of choice.

But he knew.

He was the kid who wore the cheap shoes from Lucky Drug Store – the ones with the glued-on soles. He could feel them come off on the playground.

He was the kid who discovered letters from his mom to his dad begging for child support and the kid hoping he would get invited to a friend’s for dinner. He once stole a piece of meat from Ralph’s supermarket, fried it up and cleaned the plate before Mom came home. He then told her she didn’t have to make any dinner because he wasn’t hungry anyway.

Here are a few other ways Scalzi measured poverty:

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won’t hear you say “I get free lunch” when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is hoping your kids don’t have a growth spurt.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger’s trash.

Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that’s two extra packages for every dollar.

Read Scalzi’s full essay here.

Posted by
Filed under: Census • Economy • How we live • Poverty • Who we are
soundoff (701 Responses)
  1. Mecca

    Somebody explain to me why they are all overweight despite being so poor.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Filling food with high calories and low nutrients is cheaper than filling food with with low calories and high nutrients. It is also easier to obtain in many cities.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Victim47

        This has always been a fact. So eat less and/or work physically harder.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Easier said than done. If you don't get enough nutrients your body begins to break down when you add lots of physical activity.

        And...the low nutrients associated with cheap food is a relatively new thing.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • animal172

        You are kidding right?

        September 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Not kidding at all. There is plenty of research that supports those facts.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victim47

      First thing I noticed. Thankfully, no skin and bones in that line.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Glenn

        Victim47, we only see what we want to see, Wall Street stocks are over 13,000 points, Companies in this country are sitting on 2Trillion dollars, we spent trillions of dollars bombing and dieing in a needless war in Iraq, our president ask congress to pass a 69 Billion dollar infrastructure Bill...

        September 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • terri

      The wealthier are getting fatter too. Not a problem exclusive to the poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • anti-rv41

      Because the wrong foods are the only choices you have, and your children can't grow on potato's alone. Take a look at the prices of fruits and vegi's, they are not cheap. I've paid attention to these prices, and the price of gas means $4.00 spent before getting to the grocery store. Try to think for yourself mecca.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • truff

      Several Reasons

      1) Poor access to quality food. Lower income neighborhoods typically tend to not have well stocked supermarkets so many people either rely on fast food or processed prepackaged food; both of which are calorie dense and nutritionally poor. Moreover, making a trip to find a good grocery store that has fresh foods necessitates money and time – two things that the working poor typically do not have in spades.

      2) Being poor is stressful and fatty and sugary foods make you feel good. There is a lot of literature on the addictive elements of the fat/sugar nexus and it is particularly easy to eat fatty/sugary foods as an outlet/escape.

      3) Cooking from scratch is costly in both time and money. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not as cheap as you would think and moreover it takes time and energy to cook food. If you are coming off of two consecutive shifts it is going to be easier to pop a frozen meal in the oven then make a salad and main course.

      4) The death of traditional food ways. Fractured families and stress means that people aren't learning or are forgetting family recipes etc.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tresterq

    and it will continue to rise. obama is going to raise taxes, he will tax you for not affording insurance (this is the ne wtax. small increments of taxes on little things... get used to it) you will become poor

    September 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Only those making around $200,00.00 and up. Again with the right wing stupidity-be specifc and accurate when you make an assertion. I know right wingers like to engage in generalizations, but please try.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cheshire2011

    I lost my job three years ago. Mother of two and divorced I was making good money as a manager and able to make ends meet. Little did I know when the first furloughed me and then couldn't still afford to take me back so laid me off, that I would for the first time in my life at age 39 need financial assistance for food, home and medical. You see both of my daughters have medical issues....one has bad asthma and the other has the real ADHD....very bright lil lady but just can not for the life of her sit still in her chair unless she takes a low dose (because that's all I'll give her) of medicine. I remember getting the prescription before my medical insurance ran out and going to the pharmacy for the first time – $650 for my daughters medicines a month!! I started to cry there in line but I knew I would make it. I went into social services head hung low and had the best experience with a caseworker who reminded me I worked since I was 16 and deserved this help because I had paid for it. I would take my girls to school and hit the pavement. It took a year and a half of working part time minimum wage jobs (two to three at a time) but was blessed with a job and a neighbor who I trusted with my girls and got back to work. I now have insurance, food and clothing (still shop at the discount stores first) for me and them. We all need help sometimes. Another fellow I worked with made 6 figures and supported his whole family and they laid him off too...going from that to less than minimum wage was hard on them....he is still looking for work! You never know til you walk in their shoes. I pray for all the unemployed to find jobs to survive.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      I'm glad you made it, and I'm glad you are unwilling to turn a blind eye to those behind you. Being American and being a patriot should always be about something bigger than yourself.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Thanks for sharing! Those of us who have not had to struggle need to hear these stories.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • anons.person

      I am also glad to hear that you were able to get through such a difficult time in your life. And the case worker was correct. You paid into the system. You deserved help from the system. It's the people who have never paid into the system that I have a problem with or the people who are gaming the system. The people who are proud to get something for nothing need to learn about pride that comes from hard work.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Cheshire2011, Happy to hear you getting the help you paid for, God said bring your extra to the storehouse, that what our
      taxes are... If we bought one less Aircraft carrier, we could do even more for people.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I'm also happy u made it! I have been in same position! I guess it's the people that abuse the system that ticks me off! I guess thats one of the top things that i would put on my list is to get rid of that fraud! I'm not sure how,home visits unannounced i don't know but something has to be done

      September 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Veteranof3Wars

    Its simple: Democrats believe in Socialism, Repubs believe in Freedom and free markets. History is indicative of what works. Socialism has failed universally.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Thanks for showing us what failing a civics class can do for you.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darth Cheney

        True, but he clearly got an A in Faux News Revisionist History.

        September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      I've been poor at times in my life. Lived in neighborhoods where everyone is poor.

      The people around me were all poor for a reason. They made poor choices. They had kids out of wedlock. They didn't pay attention in school. They have no marketable skills. They make no effort to improve their lives.

      And it makes me angry that I'm asked to pay for it. Very angry. Im more than willing to help people that are poor through no fault of their own, but that's NOT the case for the majority of people I had to live near.

      Why should I have to pay for those people and their bad choices?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • megan

        I feel the same way as you, Nate. I've noticed the same thing about most of the poor I've seen.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      Yup. Repub's philosophy – everyman for himself; Dem's philosophy – individuals are part of a community too, no one stands on an island. The funny thing is those Repub's who thinks they're so much better than others also expect services from government – they expect government to educate their workers, they expect government to provide defense of their property/rights/way of life, they expect government to provide civic infrastructures such as roads, airports, raillines, water delivery and treatment systems, hospitals, etc. etc. etc., all the things and services in a civilized society, without which they could not make their millions or billions. They just don't feel like they should pay for it any more than those 47%, even though they are benefiting disproportionately from it.

      They remind me so much of the rich spoiled brats who's got everything and thinks they deserve it all, even think they earned it all on their own; who respects no one other than those who're even brattier than them; who has no compassion for anyone. They measure others by how much money they have and are paranoid about who's trying to take their money.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • truff

      Well, this is isn't entirely true. Most of the capitalist states in the world are actually better termed as social democracies (an appellation frequently used to describe northern European states I realize but it is much more broadly applicable) because there is generally some form of "redistribution" and provisions for public goods. For example, Reagan in his tax reform act expanded the EIC program (earned income tax credit) which provides tax credits to low income families with children and frequently results in refunds which is itself a form of government assistance. As for the proof of history, history would likely prove that some sort of feudalist societal configuration is the most stable and longest lasting. The current global economic system is relatively young (it has only really existed for about 60 years.) Moreover market capitalism as we understand it has only really come into existence in the last 100-150 years. It should also be noted that our notion of freedom is a relatively recent invention as well, particularly "negative liberty" (not negative as in bad, negative as in not enabling)

      September 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • truff

      Also, as an amusing side note – Abraham Lincoln received a letter from a young Karl Marx congratulating him on advancing the cause of abolition. Moreover, the communists at the time believed that the United States would help bring about the worker's paradise.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Independent thinker

    the fools in this thread acting like either of these blood-sucking, power-grabbing political factions cares about the poor. You people are overrun with the need for validation. Combined with a lack of civility, mediocre sarcasm tinged with arrogance, and you have what you have right now: Sheeple. Go ahead, vote Romney. Vote Obama. Then lie to yourself that you tried to help someone.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yessireebob

      ...nail on the head...

      September 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Actually, neither Romney nor Obama is the problem. The problem is we live in a country whose populace, culture, laws, and norms all but make it inevitable that we get these kinds of choices. We are the ones who actually listen to what turdsandwiches like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh have to say.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cheshire2011

    I lost my job three years ago. Mother of two and divorced I was making good money as a manager and able to make ends meet. Little did I know when the first furloughed me and then couldn't still afford to take me back so laid me off, that I would for the first time in my life at age 39 need financial assistance for food, home and medical. You see both of my daughters have medical issues....one has bad asthma and the other has the real ADHD....very bright lil lady but just can not for the life of her sit still in her chair unless she takes a low dose (because that's all I'll give her) of medicine. I remember getting the prescription before my medical insurance ran out and going to the pharmacy for the first time – $650 for my daughters medicines a month!! I started to cry there in line but I knew I would make it. I went into social services head hung low and had the best experience with a caseworker who reminded me I worked since I was 16 and deserved this help because I had paid for it. I would take my girls to school and hit the pavement. It took a year and a half of working part time minimum wage jobs (two to three at a time) but was blessed with a job and a neighbor who I trusted with my girls and got back to work. I now have insurance, food and clothing (still shop at the discount stores first) for me and them. We all need help sometimes. Another fellow I worked with made 6 figures and supported his whole family and they laid him off too...going from that to less than minimum wage was hard on them....he is still looking for work!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. liberal destruction strikes again!

    i love the Romney posts, when its all Barry's policies at work,you are not fooling anyone, we know who did this!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You actually think people are too dumb to realize that this is the Republican congress at work?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aziraphale

        If you have to ask....

        September 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 2/8

    Who cares about the poor.....the billion dollar Mars robot is about to TOUCH A ROCK!!!! Quick, tune in!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jason

    being poor is hoping the car starts on Friday to get to the bank for gas money

    September 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. William

    Isnt it funny when ever the media speaks of the poor now days- they feature mostly on white people? I guess its a new thing for them being poor, for most blacks and latins its just another day.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • e

      Most of the poor have always been white, would you rather they feed into the stereotype that all poor people have brown skin?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sedl

      Yes, I noticed, good SA. It does tell you about where the priorities are with reporting. This is a reflection of values at CNN. By Moni Basu, CNN. They are Dems but they aren't real. All talk just for the minority vote.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ladybug

    Being poor is being without famiy, without love. Didn't know we were poorer than dirt poor until everybody else figured out that was our status. We just knew we were loved, we were cared for, and we had lots of respect for each other and others around us. Didn't own a house, a car, or anything else. Ate what we grew or killed. No heat in the winter, no a/c in the summer. 7 women sleeping in one room, no heat, holes in walls, and a pee pot for nighttime nature runs. Ate lots of fatback & biscuits, mayonnaise sandwiches. No red meat. Mostly vegetables. Didn't know but guess we were vegetarians. 2 beverages, water or tea. No milk no juice. Water was pumped from an outside pump. No running water, only hot when heated on a wood stove, only one, in the kitchen for cooking. But, for us, that was life. Didn't know any other. No regrets.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • e

      now try it without any land to grow food on, without a wood burning stove, in a crowded apartment crawling with roaches and peeling lead paint.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerri

        Exactly! That is major part of the issue. I grew up on a farm during my earlier years of life but due to drought issues in the 80's and a tornadoe, we had to move to the city. We grew up working hard from morning until night and thankfully I have that work ethic. However, I saw the struggles of my family thrown into hardship. We had to move to an apartment in the city because at the time that was one of the only options. No longer were we able to go out to the garden and get what we needed. We used to have chickens and a few cattle. Those self sustaining items were gone. We learned about food stamps and health care which helped my family get back on their feet. It was a hard pill for my father to swallow but our family truely needed the help and living in the city makes it difficult to make it on your own if there are no jobs available. You can only grow so many tomatoes in a flower pot.

        September 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. abbydelabbey

    poverty that I remember from my youth:

    eating one meal a day - sometimes the meal was ketchup and water to make "tomato soup," sometimes a slice of bread with margarine with sugar sprinkled lightly on it, sometimes a box of macaroni and "cheese" powder made into "cheese" with water - not the margarine and milk one is suppose to use
    no a/c in summer; no heat in winter
    no medical care, no OTC medication
    buying clothes at a church rummage sale if you have the money
    collecting bottles for refunds (remember those days?)
    avoiding using water to have a low water bill
    avoiding using electricity to have a low electric bill
    walking and walking everywhere you can
    no television at all - no, didn't even have one

    your stomach growling from hunger
    getting headaches because you're hungry
    getting sick from lack of proper nutrition

    lifetime outcome of poverty:
    unhealthier life
    shorter life
    earlier death

    September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JVD

    This is a really sad and appalling statistic. Lets' just hope this country doesn't elect Barrack Obama for another four years, otherwise that 46 million will probably double...I guess each country deserves its leaders, after all, we are the ones who elect them.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • e

      Do tell us how tax breaks for the RICH are going to help.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • bertha59

        I'd like to know as well.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I would like to know Romney's plan!!! to create all these jobs???

      September 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kirk

    4 years of Obama is enough is there anything this guy can do right? Who held his hand when he was in Illinois? He spends so much time blaming other people as everything he does fails. you people that back him are clowns. Romney is right you are all lazy waiting for handouts. Cant wait for the Obama care tax and the tax for bailing out china banks hits. Good job Democraps

    September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      Am i to read this as something other than you blaming obama for your problems? rofl. I bet you spend almost all day doing this, maybe if you actually tried at life you might be successful or happy.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • meh

      You think Mittens is the answer? More of the same that created this mess? He doesnt give a darn about you. When Romeny said 47% of people are on handouts he failed to mention that a lot of those are republicans that WILL vote for him. Around half of the population does not even vote. Of the other half that do, about half of THOSE will vote for Obama and about half for Romney. He cant even get that right. He wants to give corporations even MORE tax breaks and cut even MORE regulation. Even though America is one of the most business-friendly places on earth already.
      Ask Nevada how low regulations and very business friendly taxes works (they have both) and they have one of the highest unemployment rates and the highest foreclosure rates. Guess his business model aint that rock solid now is it?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniela

      Oh quit this Obama stuff...um...there was no poverty before him, right? Give it a REST and do something to help the poor instead of blasting your political opinions on here.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerri

      Its kind of hard for Obama to do the things we need when republicans keep blocking the bills. They aren't even reading them or caring about who they are affecting by voting no no no no. They just want to do whatever it takes to stop Obama. Watch c-span once in awhile. That will really show you some scary info about how our congressmen are running things. Can't wait to vote democratic ACROSS THE BOARD.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jamanta

    Being poor is sleeping in a cardboard box, being poor is not having a cat, being poor is not having furniture, nor water or heater. Being poor is to having a job to walk to, being poor is not having underpants at all or a bra, being poor is when you are 6 years old and your mom throws you on the street to beg for money.

    You guys live in a different reality. Go to Africa, Asia or South America and you will stop whining in a second.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamanta

      no, i just think that there is some sort of opportunity for everyone. can they get a job at mcdonalds, for example? or find something to do? let me tell you something. i had a 6 figure a year job and got laid off in 2006 when everything came crashing down. instead of sitting on the couch and collecting unemployment and taking resources from who really need it, i took a job serving room service in a hotel for 2 years. i finally was able to get my job back. why? perseverance. i grew up in south america to parents who were in their teens. we didn't have much but we decided to change instead of sitting on our hands.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Well said.. Stop complaining and pointing fingers... that will consume your mind. Now go find a job

      September 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Mike Searcy

    Welcome to Obama's America. The more people that are poor, the more they need the government and the more powerful it needs to become. More power means it needs more money, and more money means more taxes on the rich to go to the poor. Of course the poor will get that money through the government handouts they can't live without.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Interested48

      The average amount allowed for food stamps each week is $133.84 for one person. Wow! They poor are livin' in the lap of luxury!!!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joyce

        The average single person gets $133 per week in food stamps? That is almost $600 per month. Insanity. I pay for my groceries and don't spend but about 1/3 of that. That means people on food stamps are eating quite well. Why should I have sympathy for that? Why should I pay for them to eat better than I do when I work and pay for my own groceries?

        September 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • meh

      The "rich" have the lowest tax rates now since World War 2. And you want to give them more? Why does this not make sense to me? It is a myth that all rich people are "job creators." There is no way they are going to fire their gardener or pool boy because they dont get as much of a tax break – thats really the jobs we are talking about here, BTW. For their businesses they still get PLENTY of tax breaks and would continue to receive.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • welltemperedwriter

      Mike, that essay was written in 2005.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Alex

    It's a sordid image: Romney with a group of similarly privileged people disparaging half of America. He has the nerve to preach of entrepreneurial spirit, of opportunity, of true and honest work. He has no idea of magnitude of his grotesque advice.

    His wife's father was a city mayor; his wife – like Romney – a prep-school girl; Romney's father was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation, Governor of Michigan, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He was offered on a platter all the things he urges the people of America to obtain through honest and sustained work. He belittles people for not obtaining through personal efforts the things he achieved and which were available to him just by being born to privilege.

    What a disgrace!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      You have no clue how the Democrats have used regulatory powers to be punitive to communities and States that don't coddle to Obama.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • To Mike

        MikeB, what you say is just illiterate background noise, in place of a real argument.
        Puppets who fight for Romney to succeed are of a particular breed; you look at Romney, and you look at these poor tools and laugh.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darth Cheney

        You mean like how red states get more back from the government than they put in, and blue states get less back from the government than they put in? Where do you come up with this balderdash, and why do you believe it to be true?

        September 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ Hunter

      Yeah, I'm sure that the President of an auto company doesn't have to work very hard. Only 70 to 80 hour weeks.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • CMJ

        The fact that their fathers were hard working guys does not mean that they were.

        Mr. Romney and his wife were silenced before, by their own party, when they tried to allude to the fact that they grew up poor; they were laughable and did damage to the republican credibility.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • darkstar

        yeah, and they recieve 5,000 percent more money/compensation than the people who actually creat value for the company...

        September 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kirk

      I just want to thank you for the Obama care tax and the china bail out tax. Its because of clowns like you we are all going to be screwed. If you performed as bad as Obama has at work they would fire you. Time for change.

      Shame on You

      September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • 007

      Alex, unfortunately his deep-pocket donors can afford to employ an efficient posse of mercenary posters.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • meh

      Alex, dont forget his advice for the youth of america.
      "Borrow money from your parents to start a company."
      Seriously – he said that. He is SOOOO out of touch with reality that it I dont know whether to laugh or cry.
      Thats how HE did it, but everyone doesnt have that option, not do they Mittens?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Char

      Notice that both the Romney's had fathers! 1 in 5 children are poor – no surprise there – in fact I thought it would have been much higher as fatherless children are sadly becoming the norm as we continue to glorify single mothers (and I don't mean the ladies that are widowed or divorced). Everytime I hear 5 children with 5 different men – sorry, but I have zero sympathy.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jeb

    Romney doesn't believe in a minimum wage.

    But he does believe in giving himself another tax cut.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mr. Kris

    I, am sure there is no where else our money can be used, here

    September 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jeb

    Romney's father was on Welfare and Food Stamps when he was younger.

    Romney has clearly forgotten where he came from.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • 55ford

      I think he remembers all too well. I don't think people give him enough credit in this regard.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Consequence

      i know someone who knew the Romney's grandparents when they lived in Mexico. They were plenty poor and, at times, jobless. Mitt's father, George Romney, had tremendous drive and bootstrapped his way into management at American Motors and, later, as Governor of Michigan. Mitt did not profit from an inheritance, he moved out of state to massachusetts where his father's name had less clout, he went to the best schools and worked hard. while pusuing success in business, he took time out to personally help the needy within his Church. As Governor, he took no pay, but, again, he did not forget the needy...in particular, those who had no health insurance. He took no pay when asked to go save the Salt Lake Olympics which was in dire straits. MItt did it willingly and, as always, professionally. i don't understand how critics of his seem to fashion Mitt a thoughtless demon ...he is nothing the like. i believe some of his critics are jealous and the rest closed minded.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • LinSea

      Looks to me like he remembers it too well, Jeb. He got educated and worked hard so he wouldn't have to be in that position again. It's called learning from the past instead of repeating it.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Charlie

    Any of you actually read this guy's rambling? Everyone should do the things or experiences those things he talks about whether you're poor or not. Be prudent! Be stingy! You will be happy about it later. Consumerism is for Satan! The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Joanne

    Awwww the rich Republicans are crying, because their one chance for hope is a complete idiot! Let him keep putting his foot in his mouth, I am finding it very entertaining!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Mr. Kris

    Why and how, Obama and Hillary are running TV ads in Muslims country's only, the cost is in the thousands. While other country leaders are now saying the film had nothing to do with attacks,, which he didn't.. Did Obama forget the american dream and way, which includes are rights and laws. You would think we would get free air time since the President is more the less running apology adds, with Hillary. Glad we have thousands to spend on these adds. They are Regretful and this was a disgrace some of the words, really

    September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  24. BlackDynamiteNYC

    I think Romney meant 46 million, not 47%......
    BD

    September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Charlie

    Spend your life resising the government. As a result of the process, you will become wealthy.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Thomas

    most of the responses here are quite ruthless, compared to what the message is and should be,

    the ability to survive and live in descency, looks like anyone of those 42 million could come on here and say the same, but why bother? you have people like this that pretty much have there political genitals hanging out their mouths with their hands behind their backs rubbing their two fingers together,

    while being allowed to be here 🙂

    ~peace

    thomas 🙂

    September 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hadenuffyet

      Much of America is spoiled rotten.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Matthew Hilton

    Gee, I wonder what Mitt thinks of these 46.2 million? I certainly know how frustrated Jesus was with the poor.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  28. keith

    And Romney hates them all

    September 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • liberal destruction strikes again!

      yey and liberals are fun loving!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Jeb

    Romney's tax rate under the Ryan/Romney plan:

    0%

    Seriously

    September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  30. LKT

    When I was growing up back in the 60's/70's, both my mother and father worked in one of the 3 factories in our town. I think their combined income was less than $10K. They bought a tiny shotgun shack house on the very edge borders of the best school in town. Growning up I was ashamed of that ugly little house. I sometimes hated being one of the blue collar kids in the weathly school. My mother/father could NEVER come to a school play or be a room mother or come give a speech on what a cool profession they had. We could never afford Levi's but had to settle for Sears plain pockets that were purchased by lay-a-way. In the mid-70's both my parents were laid off. We were living in poverty, if you considered our lack of income, but the tiny shotgun shack house was paid off and our one car was paid off. We lived off unemployment/food stamps for about 16 months until the closed factory could be refurbished and my mother got another job. My father never held stable employment again for the rest of his life and he was only 38 when he was laid off! Nevertheless, attending the best/wealthest public school in town exposed me to and help me establish relationships with kids whose parents knew how to get into college, whose goals were never short of finishing college. My 2 brothers and I got our college degrees even though we had to make our own way through (THANK YOU PELL GRANTS AND STUDENT LOANS that we paid off) and it took us longer than the 4-5 typical years of a college kid because we had to work as well. Even though I didn't appreciate it at the time, looking back I think the best thing my parents did was purchasing that little shack on the bare edge of the best school district in town. It made a WORLD of difference in our lives and we are now all tax payers. Research is correct: if you can move away from the high poverty areas, half your battle is already fought. All of you folks screaming about people being on welfare and food stamps-IT MIGHT BE TEMPORARY! There is NOTHING wrong with taking assistance to become more productive later whether it is food stamps, welfare, govt financial aid. My brothers and I have been paying back in taxes, etc., for over 30 years. It makes me very sad that the programs that helped my brothers and me pay for college might not be available for young folks today.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamanta

      Great story. I wish all people could get the help you got but today a lot take advantage of the system. They are taking away from the people who really need it.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jo Ann

        Jamanta, I don't think you can devise a system that is so perfect that no one will find a way to abuse it. People cheat on taxes, on school tests and on the welfare system. Of course we should try to find ways to prevent and penalize the abuses, but in my experience there are a lot more people like LKT's family than there are abusers. When we read stories such as these, they should motivate us to help, not to complain about thse who take advantage

        September 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Thank you for sharing! Everyone complaining about the 47% should read this.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • paratrooper_us

      LKT – Very insightful.

      I remember when my parents split up (and it was over lack of money), I was fortunate to have 3 older sisters and no brothers, so I did not get the hand me downs from them. But, when my Mother purchased pants for me, she got them with an inseam of 4 inches longer than they needed to be. She hemmed them and as I grew, she would remove the hem and re-hem. Overtime, you could see the different hem lines, people would ask, and laugh. Because of the area I lived in, they had no idea we were living day to day. I was not allowed to go to any friend's house for dinner, since we did not have enough in our house to invite them over to eat. Monday through Saturday, we ate Hamburger Helper, minus most of the meat, and on Sundays we had spaghetti. I was very active in sports prior to things falling apart, and when I turned 14, I lied about my age and got my first full time job – washing dishes at an upscale restaurant. I got a free dinner and at the end of the night, it was my responsibility to take the food that was cooked, but not sold to the trash. I used to put some in a trash bag and set it out by the dumpster. When we closed for the night, I would go to the dumpster and get the bag and bring it home (5 miles away) on my bike at around midnight. The summer I turned 15, I got a full time job as a Brickmason's helper. Rode my bike to one of the guy's house and got a ride to the site. I worked through the summers, gave my family the money, and during the school year, I would play sports, and work weekends. Finally when I turned 16, I stopped sports all together and worked full time after school. The agreement was I could work, as long as my grades did not falter. I graduated high school a year early, wanted to go to college, but the money was not there, so I joined the military. By the time I got out of the military, my parents got back together, and were doing much better. I came home and eventually put myself through college. Learning a lesson from my younger years, I refused to go in to debt, refuse a hand up.

      I am now doing well in my career, making a good living, and am still debt free (except my mortgage, which is well within my means – and is nearly paid off). But I still refuse to eat any noddles of any kind – lol.

      If you set your mind to it, you can do it. But it takes work and determination.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jamanta

    Having a car is being poor? Having a microwave is being poor? Let me tell you something, where I come from the poor live in a cardboard box, eat trash from the landfill and don't have shoes to wear. Quit whining, I'm sure you can get a job at gas station, McDonalds or something.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe citizen abroad

      And I'm sure if they complained about the cheap shoes, you'd say, "You're not poor 'til you have to go barefoot." And if they complained about going barefoot, you'd say, "You're not poor 'til your feet are amputated from the cold." We have a different standard in the US. You would do well to soften your heart and embrace it, and check your disdain for humanity at the border. Or move back to your former homeland, please, if it's such a fine example of when to "whine" and when not to. We don't need any more haters in our country.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jamanta

        lol. don't hate this country at all. in fact, i love it! just think you guys complain too much when there's much worse all over the world. is your heart soft for the others or just care about yourself/country?

        September 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jo Ann

        Thanks, Joe! That's just what I wanted to say.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hadenuffyet

      And where do you come from. Seems like you saw the deficiencies and left and bought a computer. There are minimum standards just about everywhere. Ours , here in the US are just a bit above a cardboard box.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Levy

      But you have internet access? Stop trolling the boards with your BS pretending to be something you're not. I guess the homeless shelter provides you with internet access?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      Many of the poor that we are talking about are the folks that have those jobs...What a DA>

      September 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • e

      Having a $500 car that you depend on to get to work is not a luxury, especially if you live in it. Having a Microwave is not a sign of luxury, it may have been bought at a thrift store for $10 and is the only working appliance in the house. It is not so simple to say that if someone has something like that then they are not really poor. There are a lot of people struggling right now that have a few residual things from when they made more money.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jamanta

        agreed. totally get your point. but you still have that $10 to buy the microwave at goodwill. a lot of people in this world don't even have that. they eat garbage and steal, etc.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamanta

      these people don't even have a government to help them. you do. be glad you get welfare and other assistance. i don't want people to be poorer, but just widen your horizons and remember that there are many many people living in conditions much worse than the poor here.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hadenuffyet

        Why not? Why can't people form a consensus and work together to improve their lot in life. I have empathy for the poor , however , I also believe they have the ability to rise above their situations and create a better life for themselves. It takes time , but never take your eye off the goal.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jamanta

        they can here. they have the resources to. in other places these people are basically non-existent. you are born in misery and you will die like that. for most of them, the only way to get out of it is through crime. they start stealing, then turn to drugs, etc. i'm sorry to say, but it is a life wasted. i got to see that too many times growing up. it really irritates me when people here complain about poverty when there are so many means for people to get help and go somewhere in life. why do you think that people immigrate here from all over the world?

        September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Oregoniswierd503

    I know one thing, our country is getting better, we will climb out of this mess that started in 2006 by the Bush administration, We are better than this, and we are moving FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kirk

      Typical Obama supporter. Its getting worse, until you losers wake up we will never move FORWARD. Obama care tax, the second China bail out tax, all he can do is lie and talk about the muslum ways Keep blaming everyone else. If you knew how bad it was then you should've stayed in Illinois and never ran for president

      September 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hadenuffyet

        Problem or solution ? Which are you? A great leader once said "Ask not what your country can do for you , but what you can do for your country." Actions speak louder than words.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  33. lisa

    Neither candidate is addressing the problem of low wages. It is impossible to support a family (and purchase medical insurance) on minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage will relieve the government from offsetting the difference between wages and cost of living. Requiring employers to provide health coverage (even when employees are not allowed to work 40 hrs a week but instead – 32-36 hrs a week) will relieve us all from paying for the uninsured when the receive medical care.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mpouxesas

      cannot increase minimum wages. it will be a disaster for the ...rich. you cannot undercut their salaries!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • theauger

      Increasing the minimum wage is silly & definitely not the answer.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      Unfortunately, it would only lead to inflation.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hadenuffyet

      The simple act of matching Chinas' import taxes could finance healthcare for everyone here. Chinas' import taxes fund fully 20% of ALL government expenses there.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jeb

    The most amazing accomplishment of the modern conservative movement has been to convince millions of weak minded individuals that selfishness, greed, and hate for those who are less fortunate, are good Christian values.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mpouxesas

      agreed, and not only that, the same people have been convinced (what a powerful tool propaganda is!) that it is admirable to be left alone on your own and struggle when you could have been helped, but that is ...socialism brrrr baaaad think. In addition, the same people, when they go to the dinner table, as good ...professing christians, they say the grace and in it recite words such as, dear lord bless the food on our table and please give it to those who don't have it, while at the same time bashing those who don't have it and suggest that they get off their lazy bums and get a job....

      September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • y

      stated with the intellect of a flea

      September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Well said.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Veteranof3Wars

    Obama's at a low key, $23,000 per plate fundraser tonight...yay for our socialist president!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • danielle

      romneys was more then double that. $50,000 per plate.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Actually, that seems very capitalist not socialist.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      Politicians have been doing that for years. It is very capitalist.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      Did the definition of 'socialist' change or do you not know it?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Veteranof3Wars

        Its called "sarcasm" Anne. Lesbians apparently have a hard time understanding sarcasm.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • JasoninFL

      So, are you bragging that the President has not managed to throw a party at, say, $50,000 per plate like your guy? If you're not bragging, then you're a hypocrite.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  36. new orleans

    Poverty Breeding, both here and abroad, is a 100+ BILLION a year industry, supported by working Americans.
    Wal-Mart, Similac Infant Formula (Why 470M to WIC when breast feeding is Free??), Monsanto, Merck (Big Drug made more than Big Oil last year) WANT HIGHER BIRTHRATE POVERTY TO CONTINUE. THESE ARE THEIR BIGGEST CUSTOMERS. (They don't care that You get the bill.)

    Want to see Poverty end? STOP ENABLING AND ENCOURAGING PEOPLE WITH NO MONEY WHO, OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL, BREED PAST "SUSTAINABLE TWO". (economically as well as environmentally sustainable)

    September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      Now there is a communist plan. You want the government to dictate how many children we can have? What a true DA.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  37. bertha59

    I have been poor even though I worked most of the years I was poor. And I paid my taxes...despite what that guy MR says. It wasn't pleasant. I counted my money to the penny every day. There were days, weeks, and months that I thought I would be on the streets...I was the working poor while the executives of the company I worked for made upwards of a million/year in the 1970s and 1980s. I made it out of poorness and I am glad.

    Being poor and remembering the struggle to get past it has made a living memory for me that I will never want to live through again.

    I am now able to travel worldwide, not because I am rich, but because I wisely save money to do so. In my travels to Asia I saw poverty that no one in the United States can imagine until you have seen it. India especially is the most poverty stricken I experienced. It is absolutely nothing that 99.9% of the poor in the United States will ever experience. What I have seen of the poor in those countries is too heartbreaking and too much to depict in words. But suffice it to say that the poor in this country (even those living on the streets) are living relatively rcih compared to those other countries. This does not mean to say poverty in the US is nothing...because I have been poor in the United States.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      Yes, you paid your taxes because at your income level you were not required to pay an income tax. That made you a part of the 49%. Payroll taxes, state taxes and so on were not counted in that statistic. Romney was talking about you and your kind.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • bertha59

        I did pay my taxes...every year...and those taxes (state and federal) added up to 25-30% of my income. MR is wrong...absolutely. He (and probably you) never had to count pennies every day. Actually, taccording to Mrs. R. they had to sell some stock because they were so poor in their early years. I bet most poverty stricken folks would like to have stocks they can sell to live. on.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jo Ann

        I think saidso's point is that if you were paying federal taxes – or any taxes that totalled 25-30% of your income – you would not have been below the poverty level in this country.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Go to Belize. People living in what we would consider doghouses. No electricity, phones, water ect.. I watched people washing their clothes in the river on rocks. every house had a garden, a few chickens running around. Burned broken down cars along the roadways. I was really a eye opener. I could not imagine living in a small metal shack with no windows or doors. We drove all the way to Guatamala and this picture never ended. People here have no idea what being truely poor is.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • tr

      I actually just came back from two months in India, and had the same thought when I read this essay. Not in any way to minimize the difficulties that Americans who fall below the poverty line are experiencing. But when you live in a country where being poor means being embarrassed about getting a free lunch at school, and you've just left a place where being poor means you live in a small outpost next to the highway where all of the homes are constructed of patched together cardboard boxes, you own one piece of filthy, shredded clothing wrapped around your private parts, you have no running water in 110 degree heat, neither you nor your kids have shoes to wear, your baby is covered in insects, and yet you still get up and go to work every day and still send your kids to walk to the school which is several miles away by themselves (with a 10 year old girl carrying her younger sister on her back) so they can get some education . . . well, it really puts how lucky we all are to live in this country in perspective.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • bertha59

        You have stated what I said so much more eloquently. Thank you.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES

      > That is BS justification. There are hungry children going to bed without food TONIGHT in our country. There are functionally poor people in inner city and rural areas all across the country. You can be a bigoted hater if you want but don't lie about it by trying to compare how good you have it with the poor in Belize. Jesus how sad you are

      The only way a kid goes hungry in the US is because their parents sold the foodtamps for money on the black market for drugs.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jo Ann

        Not true.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  38. long fisch

    Outstanding!!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  39. mp

    Haha. I think I have lived through most of that and some more. But I never knew we were poor or I did not see myself as poor.

    I remember as a child letting the faucet drip into a bucket hoping the water meter won't move, saving toilet paper. I hated to sit down at school without a desk in front of me because my mother had used some scrape piece of floral cloth sewed as pockets to my navy uniform. All the other girls had tailor made uniforms. My mother sewed my from scraps.

    As a college student, I collected computer punch cards (came with Noah's Ark) off the floor in the computer lab where I worked so I could re-use it. 75 cent a pack was too expensive for me. I only went to the bathroom while on campus so I could save on water bill and toilet paper (again). I walked to and from the campus (1.5 mile each way) in the snow in Brooklyn NY because I did not want to paid 75 cent bus fare. Some days my meals consisted of a dozen dunkin donuts because there was a special of $2.5 a dozen. Luckily youth was on my side and I rarely weighed over 90 lbs. But I knew all that was only going to be temporary and that I was going to change my lot if I studied hard.

    30 years later I am still eating ramen noodles for lunch every day and optimizing my using of the bathroom at work. Haha. I still take off running when I hear that there is leftover lunch in the breakroom. Good habits are hard to break even when I have a 6 figure salary nowadays.

    Through it all, I do not regret my upbringing. It molded me and made me who I am today. It gave me determination and resilience that I wouldn't have gotten from a cushy childhood. Looking at my own weathy suburban children, I cannot see that grit and sparkle in them. They like most of their peers do not know what it is like to be poor, to be concerned about your next meal or next bill. They do not know that there is no mountain too high for them to climb because all they have ever seen are hills.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      You would have seen yourself as poor if you went to bed hungry at night.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  40. RickBangkok

    The revolution will not be televised but it may be tweeted.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Larry

    Jesus said the poor will always be with us , this is very true and we have a plane in place to take care of them. Now we have another problem the willing poor . When predsident l. Johnson came up with his Great Society it sounded good , careing , and loveing but knowone could conceive that politicians like obama would turn this into billions of dollars and have 49% of the people draining our economy . Make no mistake we are in a welfare state .Obama has used this 49 % real well black and white middle class americans income has droped $4000.00 per year because of obamas failed economy high gas prices and job killing wrong headed policys like shuting down the Gulf we can't recover if the best job we can get is Buger King . This started with Bil Clinton remember NAFTA a man by the name of Ross Perot in the debates told Clinton we will here a sucking sound of jobs going out of this country .the Democrats gave us this problem with the poor now they are telling us they can fix it .Gov. Romney is the man to fix this and find work for the poor who want to work.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • danielle

      yeah he will take care of the poor you are darn tootin!

      the poor in india and china. he has put our military down and the rest of the 47% do you realise how many of our militarys personel are on food stamps?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Veteranof3Wars

        Well Danielle, you have been snowed. I am active duty military with nearly 27 years of service. We have BAH " Basic allowance for Housing" (Free) BAQ, "Basic Allowance for Quarters", VHA ("Variable Housing Allowance" to Make up for the Local rental and market rates, Price, and COLA, "Cost of Living Allowance" and BAS "Basic Allowance for Subsistence" (Food Allowance" as well as a yearly clothing allotment.........So if there are soldiers on food stamps, that means they are living irresponsibly, and their fat wives are sitting at home doing nothing when they should be out working....like you, i think

        September 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul King

      Your quote is filled with grammatical errors. Please make sure you proof read what you post online. Your post is at best an incoherent read.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • karen

      obviously you let others think for you or... you only listen to FOX do some reading and learn the truth

      September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      One sentence, "the poor will always be with us"...Next sentence, "the Democrats gave us the poor". Which is it, they are always there or it's the dems fault. Hint, no matter what you say, we all know it isn't true.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cjbomb

      Republicans led on NAFTA.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  42. PantyRaid

    OMG I totally have that guys laundry hamper in the picture...

    September 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Me too, but I am rich, I have 5 of them. 8)

      September 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  43. nancirose

    Meanwhile.. in India:
    – Being poor is living 2 feet from an open sewer
    – Being poor is not having a television, or a computer
    – Being poor is begging for food 7 hours a day
    – Being poor is waiting 4 hours in line for water
    – Being poor is not have a washing machine, and spending 2 hours a day scrubbing cloths
    – Being poor is thinking 10 rupees (18 cents), is a good deal
    – Being poor is 68% of the population living on less than $2 per day.
    – Being poor is having children die of malnutrition, malaria, or measles before age 5.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I guess we should count ourselves lucky to not be dying in a gutter in calcutta.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      So very true!! But people in this country don't want to hear that. We don't have poor people in America. You want to see poverty, go to India or Africa or Latin America. THAT'S poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        yeah... and when you get cancer you are not really sick, because there are people worse of than that. The question is, how well do you sleep in a rich and civilized country knowing 25% of children go to school without breakfast?

        September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      I'm jealous because their poor are poorer than our poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Why don't you tell a child who hasn't eaten today how lucky they are to live int he U.S. instead of India?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • bertha59

        I know for the poor in this country there are food banks and other services available to the poor. I also know that in this economy those services are stretched and minimal at times. I do not want to sound like I have a cold heart about this issue...here or in the countries I have visited...because the thought of anyone going without the "Hierarchy of Needs" that starts with shelter and food (and other basic needs), is devastating to me.
        My mother grew up in China. One of her favorite things she used to emphasize was to not waste food because there were (and still are) a of children starving in China. I remember I told this to a couple of kids I was babysitting for in the 1960s one time. A couple of days later I answered a knock at my family's door. The mother and the two kids I babysat for were at the door and requested to speak to my mother. I thought I was in deep trouble (though there was no reason). The mother just wanted to tell my mother how thankful she was I told the starving kids in China story to her daughters.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • y

      glad their government cares more about being a nuclear power than feeding its people.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      So you want to what? Withdraw gov't assistance for the poor so our poor can be like their poor? Most of our poor are "newly" poor. That's why they actually have stuff. Take away gov't assistance so they lose it all and I guess we'll have the kind of poor you can be proud of. 🙁

      September 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • bertha59

      ditto

      September 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Jeb

    A recent survey revealed that 70% of Americans wouldn't want to sit next to Romney on a flight.

    Romney was outraged when he heard this and said, "how would these people get on my private jet?"

    September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  45. bobjones

    If I had a penny for every time a liberal said they didn't pay enough taxes, I'd be worth billions.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  46. bobjones

    Food Stamps: The number one cause of obesity in America.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      I'm saddened at those that lost most all in Katrina...but this picture of "Poor"...many of these here are overweight....the govn't feeds them better than I can feed myself working 40 hours a week and in the end have to pay taxes on top of what already is being deducted from me on a monthly basis. I barely get by, but in this country it's a choice...we've all been given the freedom to be educated and be whatever God(not allah or Bama controlled society) enables us to be. It's not just areas in the South it's everywhere..everytime I'm in the grocery store-I'm envious at those that can fill up a cart to feed their family at the cost of my taxes money, while I stand there budgeting to the dollar hoping I don't go over $50

      September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • saidso

        Payroll taxes does not equal income taxes. You are a part of the 49%

        September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • theauger

      The cost of eating healthy food is the problem for people who are poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  47. govwatch

    And yet Hillary Clinton is sure the United States has 500 million-dollar checks to handout to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Egypt.
    Apparently, we have lots of free money floating around!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      You can make that a partisan thing if you want to but the fact of the matter is that those handouts happen under both parties rule and the GOP is actually more free wheeling about giving away our money. In any case I am sure Condalisa was sighing those checks first.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Skeptic

    10 cents ramen is 20% cheaper than 12 cents ramen. It's a no brainer.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Johnson

      Actually it is 17% cheaper.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Lucy

    If the author consider that was miserable life, then what was he expecting? Lives in a Penthouse to with eating blugar caviar everyday served by 6 servants? His mother should have thought about life with her brain before she had children. Does the author know what the real poverty is in third world countries where children suffer everyday? Those children consider Raisin Barn a luxury. The author does not look poor to me but greedy looking.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      People aren't poor forever. Families don't always start out poor either. By your logic, no one should have kids unless they're filthy rich. Life throws all kinds of curve balls. Don't count on always being in control.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  50. kano

    the only statement of maybe being poor that the guy said was 8 bucks an hour being a decent wage. all the other examples don't make you poor. seems like this guy thinks having all types of luxuries will make him not poor yet there are so many broke people with big flat screen tvs, driving a mercedes on e gas, rocking the 200 pair of pants. so to measure what is actual poverty is difficult because what is considered poor isnt actually poor is being broke because you spend your money on tangible items that you think you cant live without and now your broke.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Charlie

    Poor in America is different than Poor in India. Am I the only one that gets that?

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      So you want to be like India? Most of us don't so you should jump on a plane and move.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Dave

    How about sterilizing a generation or two of the poor???

    September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shanno

      Really dude? I was poor. As poor as he describes. I know first hand food stamps never last long enough. But that was then and this is now. Now I'm a Computer Engineer. I pay taxes and contribute to society. I'm the mother of three and I don't have to worry about how to feed or cloth them. Poor doesn't mean poor forever, poor doesn't mean worthless.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • karen

        THANK YOU i was a single parent in the 70's, I put myself through college and graduate school. I have been a productive tax paying person long enough to have 33 years in my profession and to retire.
        I remember begging for access to housing and having to convince some suit that I wouldn't lock my son in the bathroom so I could go out and party
        One graduate school blackballed me because one interviewing professor told me I could not make it while raising my son.. told me to get in I had to turn over custody of my son to my ex for the 2 years. I told him there was a reason he was an ex and if that was one of the conditions I would go else where. Obviously I did

        September 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • saidso

        Exactly and good for you!

        September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  53. bobjones

    No nation can prosper with half of its citizens suckling from the government teat.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobjones

      ZOOOOOMG – that is sooo funny! Gosh. You shoujld be on Letterman.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • RickBangkok

      Tax the churches, especially Bob Jones...........

      September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Veteranof3Wars

    aaaah yes. 1 in five Americans in poverty...this is hope and change you can believe in.....gotta love a socialist liberal government.....now all you liberal lemmings go run out and vote for Obama

    September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oregoniswierd503

      Oh how one forgets who got the United States into their current economic mess!!!!!!!!!!!!
      G.W BUSH and his eight years of destruction of the middle class, ie: getting us into wars we did not need to be in (Iraq and Afgan), corporate greed, bank bailouts, massive jobs cuts!!!!!!!!!
      You can talk about what ever you want, but you'd better look in the mirror first.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • theauger

        Both parties are responsible for the mess we are in. Only partisans would turn a blind eye to that.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Miami_sunrize

    I feel awful for the poor. I graduated from college and attained a respectable "job,' yet I have barely enough to invest in my retirement fund, pay my student loans, rent and other bills. The only reason why I'm not poor is because I refuse to have kids. Having kids could easily lead you straigt to poverty. I feel obligated to help the less fortunate and I donate to the foodbank in my city, the US troops, the orphans in Latin America, Miami Children's hospital and Dress for Success. I get all my coworkers to donate as well and then I use my car and gas to deliver the donations usually. I fear if I don't help others there may come a time when no one helps me. I also believe it is the American thing to do. That is how this country progressed, others helping others.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Nick

    Sorry to change the subject but I genuinely wonder what stance Romney has on environmental stewardship? I am a (conservative) father of two and but I have to admit I am becoming very concerned about the ice caps melting and the obvious signs of global warming. I want to see America lead when it comes to environmental policy...everybody is clamoring for jobs here while the glaciars appear to be melting! He never seems to talk about it. Just wondering.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  57. bobjones

    Being poor and being addicted to government handouts ... what's the difference?

    September 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      If you don't know feel sad for you.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Jeb

    If elected, Romney promisses to create millions of jobs by giving himself another tax cut.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark anderson

      It will be one million more then obami will create

      September 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeb

      mark anderson

      All Romney has to do is rehire all the people he fired while he was at Bain Capital.

      LOL!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Meanwhile, all those wealthy Hollywood and celebrity supporters of Obama who own multiple homes, jets, cars and boats, spend millions on clothes, jewelry, vacations and drugs. I wonder why they won't help the poor? Statistics show that conservatives give far more to charities than do liberals. Hmmmm.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Teresa Finch

        because churchgoing folks (conservatives) pay their "charity" to religious organizations. How many decline to contribute money to more wide ranging charities such as United Way"

        September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veteranof3Wars

      liberals for Obama and continued socialism! Thats hope and change you can believe in.... one in every five Americans lives below the poverty line......Uncle Sugar, please send me a check for my defaulted ARM loan...? I need to pay off my student loans and for the 30 foot boat I bought when I took out a second mortgagate based on the imaginary value of my home.....it takes a village doesn't it? Please send my check Mr. Uncle Sugar! Yay Socialism!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  59. M.E.

    Pulling a lamp out of the trash isn't being poor, that's just legit dumpster diving. If it's not upholstered (bedbugs) or broken, it's fair game to me. It's easy to get desks, tables, mirrors, and all manner of other housewares from the dumpster. I specifically leave such items outside the bin on the pavement when I throw them out because I know they'll find a new home by the end of the day.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • danielle

      hey thanks for that! i love picking up free stuff. 95% of my house is furnished with things I have found outside or was able to get when a horder up and moved to another state so all their stuff was thrown out. I have done this for years and my house looks amazing... yep im also poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  60. outawork

    My niece is poor. Here lazy husband doesn't work much and they have 5 kids. They get food stamp, welfare, whatever. Last year they paid no income tax, but since they have 5 kids they get back $6,000. The lazy husband takes the money and buys new truck which he can't afford and some guns. Yes, American you paid for that.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Jeb

    Q: What does Ann Romney wear to get Mitt in the mood?

    A: A pink slip.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark anderson

      What does miccele wear to get Obama in the mood........A blonde wig and green contacts

      September 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  62. donk

    dont get me wrong, i have a lot of sympathy for poor folks ....
    i wonder though how many of these 'poor folks' ....
    1. smoke cigarettes
    2. drink alcohol
    3. have cell phones
    4. own TVs
    5. have cable TV
    6. are obese
    heres how i save money every day ...
    no cell phones, no cable TV, dont buy anything new, walk everywhere (i usually walk about 5 miles a day). buy a 25 pound bag of rice and eat lots of brown rice every day. cook all my meals. buy a 20 pound bag of rolled oats and eat oatmeal for breakfast every day. dont drink or smoke. heat my house to just 62 in the winter (i usually wear a hat and coat inside). im skinny and fairly healthy. dont have health insurance and managing to get by fine. no complaints from me but when i do hear others complain it does irk me a little.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevgr5

      boy do you have a lousy
      life! whats the point in living?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lane

        What's the point of living if I have to work hard to pay for someone else's free ride?

        September 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lane

      Tax payers pay for his/her internet & computer. It's called The Library.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      Many of those poor people have been poor for less than a year. It doesn't make sense to get rid of those things just to suit someone's poverty fantasy. If someone is looking for a job, a phone is pretty much a necessity. If you'd rather they just had all their property forcibly removed to suit your idea of poverty, all you're doing is assuring that they will stay poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • donk

        the only property i mentioned was a TV and a phone. you missed the point about the phone. there are budget models (i have a cheap land line) and then there are expensive smart phones with expensive monthly service plans. the TV is a big ticket item that one might be able to sell in order to buy food if one was starving. the whole point of my post was to mention that there might be room for a little belt tightening.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      I think this world needs a lot more complaining and a lot less biting the bullet.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • D pratt

      You mean like have a life?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  63. BT in California

    four more years....four more years....four more years

    September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  64. getalife

    You put that neocon senor back on the air cnn.

    Ask him about Iraq being Iran's ally.

    Ask him about the Afghans executing our troops.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Chud

    Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Yep, there's some people that genuinely need help, but we have far too many Americans that would rather blame others for their lot in lfe than get off their rear-ends and do something about it. On top of it all, we have the Obama administration and the dems who are all too happy to keep their cycle of dependency going.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lizzy10

      Well, if it wasn't for government grants, social security and scholarships, I wouldn't have been able to go to college, become a professional, buy a home, pay taxes and send my child to college. So yeah, sometimes people need help. God bless America, as America has blessed me.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Defender

        Congrats to you, Lizzy! I'm glad you were able to take advantage of those things that were put in place to help people, and I'm sure that your success has enabled you to have a job/career that allows you to be a net contributor to society.

        But are you really saying that without all those programs you took advantage of, you would not have been able to do any of that? Or, that it just would have been much harder/longer to achieve? I suspect that you take considerable pride in your accomplishments, and that you still would have achieved it all even without the assistance.

        September 21, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  66. Pete

    Poverty level went up huh??

    Wonder if it has anything to do with the continual shipment of jobs overseas???

    That's where mine went

    September 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • BT in California

      sorry to hear that. what type of business was it that shipped your job overseas?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Lizzy10

    Being poor is having 1 chuck steak for 11 people. Being poor is hand me downs that are so faded, there really isn't a pattern anymore. Being poor is having "wish sandwiches", a slice of bread cut in half and wishing there was something to go between them. Being poor is being scared someone in school will notice you never go to the cafeteria at lunch time, always to the library. Being poor sucks.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  68. GeneK

    I still find myself doing the ramen calculation and glancing over at the stuff people put out with their trash even though it's been 40 years since I was in a place where I needed to. It's a shame that so many of the people running for public office right now have never known what it's like to be there. Once you have, you never lose sight of what people who are still there have to face every day of their lives.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  69. getalife

    If you want another collapse to lose 9 million jobs, vote gop.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      Both candidates suck: Obama sucks more...and I really hate Romney. Get a clue: the requirements of Obamacare will be the straws that break the proverbial camel's back. Lots of companies will either fold, or worse yet, refuse to grow. Most jobs that aren't already, will become part-time, and individuals near the cut-off $ amount will voluntarily drop time and raises to keep from being looted by this insurance company sponsored corporate welfare program. Those are the facts and they bite!

      September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Nope again

    Being poor is not having a Goodwill to buy underwear from, no wait, not having enough money for underwear, no wait, not having underwear...yeah, that's poor. In my opinion, with all the food pantries, salvation army, etc. the poor in america live like kings compared to the rest of the world. Sure it's below OUR poverty line, but what about the threshold around the world? Count your many blessings, name them one by one.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • tim

      Really? Come on. Just because most of our poor don't have protein deficiencies doesn't mean they have much if any of a quality of life.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      Apparently you have never wanted for a thing in your life. You try and have children and not a shred of food in the kitchen except a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter and you see HOW you feel about it. Go ahead, give it a shot!! There are no #$%^&*( blessings when you are at that level. There are no #$%^&*( blessings when you find yourself in a homeless shelter with your children the next week. There are no @#%^&*( blessings!! There is no dignity, there is no self-respect, there is no holding your head up. The last thing you're going to do is say "Well thank God I'm not like those poor people in the Congo". #$%^ YOU, you arrogant POS!

      September 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Defender

        Why in the world would you try to have children if you can't afford to feed them? That is the height of irresponsibility.

        Sure, poverty sucks. There are ample programs across America to keep the impoverished alive and able to claw their way out of that poverty. Nobody wants to remove the "safety net", and everyone agrees that sometimes people need a "hand up" when they hit hard times.

        The problem is when people ride the programs, game the systems, and our government transfers more and more money from those who earn it, to pay for these people who live their whole lives "on the dole."

        If you are "poor", you shouldn't have kids. If all you have is a "minimum wage job", you shouldn't have kids. Spend the energy you would have spent on having and raising kids, to improve yourself, improve your employability, and improve your income now and into the future. Then and only then, should you consider having children.

        And yes.... having children is a choice, it doesn't "just happen".

        September 21, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  71. hrdARKpenguin

    my family is close to poverty but they encourages us to study

    September 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  72. YoyoMA

    Yes, I do pretty well now but growing up poor - I remember and understand the need to not get in lunch line with my friends so that they dont know that I used lunch tickets (for free and later subsidized) lunches. But 30 years later, since I pay a higher percentage of taxes then moron romney & ryan, I believe that I have payed back (and more) to the great American system that gave me the chances to make it! I do not flinch nor do I care when I see my 7 figure tax bill - because it will go off amd give another kids a chance like it gave me. Yes, my taxes also go to the biggest welfare system for mediocre white guys - defense spending. Yes, I used to work in defense when graduated from college and it is a welfare system for corporations and mediocre white republicans in this country - layers and layers of bureaucracy before producing anything remotely useful!

    September 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  73. revolting peasant

    Being poor is being duped into voting for tax breaks for millionaires and cuts in social services in the hopes that a) it will trickle down to you, and b) one day if you should happen to win the lottery, you would want to pay less tax.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Steven Chen

    very touching, I am moved ...

    September 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  75. FourleafTayback

    So many people ending up in poverty under the Obama Error...he has failed us. He has no plan to fix it or he would have used it by now to stay in power...which is all he really cares about.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Believe me, the poverty numbers will increase exponentially in the new oligarchy.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • MMarkle

      My wife has been employed the last several years with her engineering firm working on projects funded by the stimulus packages Obama set in motion, so it has helped keep us afloat. But truthfully it doesn't matter who is president. Politicians intefere with progress whether they are democrat or republican. Congress and the Senate have their petty conflicts and will prevent either Obama or Romney from getting anything done. Also, if you do not make more than $200k a year and you vote republican you are a fool, because they do not help you. If you really think with less regulation, businesses are going to pass the buck down the chain and employ more people instead of pocketing the surplus and getting richer, then again, you are a fool. Poor people voting republican because they fall for the propaganda that they are "moral" or a christian are the biggest impediment to progress in the country.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Summerday1

        It's good to know that some people think like me. Nice to see that someone can see that freedom we have today is not really freedom since we cannot just go find some land in a forest and build a home or cut a tree or kill a bear. Everything is protected and all of us are part of this society. It's sad that people don't understand that we need some protections like free healthcare and free education to give us the ability to even contribute anything to this society or be able to live within this society. Education is important as it provides us with skills, knowledge and abilities that relate to our occupation and that relate to our knowledge of this society and how it works. Healthcare is important because we want people to be healthy and we want people to work, we don't want them to loose houses wonder the streets or die and not contribute anymore. It takes a lot of money to raise and educate a person and we want that person to contribute not die and drain more money from the government because of something that could be prevented. Like you, I don't understand why people that make less than 200K a year (or lets be even more conservative, let's say people that make less than 75K a year) are voting Republican. And why would people want their politicians to talk religion? Shouldn't that be the job of preachers? And why are they so opposed to gay marriage? Shouldn't they be happy that there are adults that want to take care of each other in sickness, or when other problems arise? That's counterintuitive for me because I think that these people dont' want others to depend on the government yet they oppose when two adults come together and imply that they want to take care of one another.

        September 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Robert

    But we continue to send billions of $$ to foreign countries. I think we should cleanup our backyard first and help the people who made this country. Sad.....

    September 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Dave

    ...Who cares?

    September 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Jeremy

    If half of the self-righteous "Christians" would simply follow a bit of advice...:

    Matthew 19:21 – Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    September 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • rodboy

      Jeremy, please do not quote scripture you know nothing about, the point of the story there was he loved money more than Jesus. This article is a story about dead beat dads, leaving their families to starve and expecting everybody else to do their JOB as father and provider.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michele

        But the quote is entirely appropriate. Today's Xtians pick and choose which tenets of the religion they wish to abide by. The quote is from the man they purport to believe is their lord and savior, but the words they choose to follow instead are those of the shifty charlatans like Joel Osteen...."Jesus WANTS you to be rich". Doesn't jibe with the "good book", but obviously those rules were only meant to apply to those already poor.

        September 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • malibu123

      Nothing is more amusing than a Christian-hating liberal quoting scripture.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dean

        Except for "Christians" who know nothing of compassion.

        September 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrHanson

      Actually we do. But where do you draw the line between someone who really deserves help and those that can help themselves? Are we supposed to pay for all bad decisions made by stupid people that don't seem to have any common sense?

      September 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  79. I love money

    46M is 15% of 300M Americans. Those 46M are still in the top 3% of the world globally when it comes to income. It’s not ideal but one has to take personal accountability for their success. I have to believe half of them are in that position because of their own bad decisions. Lack of education, work ethic or criminal behavior in the past. The other half might of had no choice (the children) and that is where government steps in.. free lunches, section 8 housing and grants but the poor need to own their destiny. Take ownership and break the chains. I did it and so can you.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Summerday1

      "Those 46M are still in the top 3% of the world globally when it comes to income." - You're joking right? Stop comparing incomes across the globe because that makes you sound stupid. A person that makes 1000 USD/a year in China or Cuba has much better living than a person that makes 15K USD/a year in the USA. They can eat organic foods, and they probably have better shelter than those living in a trailor parks or those small shacks with walls covered in siding. "I have to believe half of them are in that position because of their own bad decisions. Lack of education, work ethic or criminal behavior in the past." - How can they make better choices if they don't know how or if they don't have any role models? If no one tells you about better options, then how will you know that better options exist?

      September 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Dave

    Turning away from God=more single parent "families"= more people in poverty. Easy divorce for women was one of the downfalls in this country. No personal responsibility, you have consequences for your decisions and the actions that follow. And of course I realize that it is now socially acceptable to divorce as often as you desire for any reason or none at all.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • g

      Are you sure about that genius.
      So why religious countries in Africa are the poorest in the world, and super liberal countries, Scandinavia, Switzerland france, etc have the highest living standard in the world.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michele

      Right, because it is always the woman lacking in personal responsibility isn't it? No man would EVER walk away from his wife and kids and leave them high and dry, now would he? Or drink to excess and beat them. Or abuse the kids. Or gamble away the mortgage money. You need to grow up and take off the conservative colored glasses.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Rob

    So, when is the last time John was poor. Way different today then 20+ years ago. Screw you John and you to CNN!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      And when have YOU been poor? Or are you some wealthy Romney-ite who is just a hater with money?

      September 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rob

        Poor today, Poor Yesturday, Poor Tomorrow you moron. Always a democrat and always pay child support! Your an idiot!

        September 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • rodboy

        Carla, please, my mom made $33.00 yes 33 dollars a week to take of us, but she taught to study and apply ourselves, so you to can make without all the handout, we need to take care of KIDS but WE AMMERICANS spend 60 Billion a year feeding stupid dogs

        September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  82. jogene

    I was very poor growing up with a single parent who worked hard and never got a handout from the government. We took pride in ourselves and did without. NO CELL PHONES and all the latest gadgets. Oh, no tv either and we survived, More should try it

    September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Tom

    Ask the Republican Congress for putting 50,000,000 Americans in poverty because of their obstructionist policies and blaming Obama for it. Some people drink the Kool Aid.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • I love money

      So the governments intent is to keep people poor? Sounds like a great plan.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Topper

        Yes, it is their intent to keep people poor and stupid. That way you are forced to work in their factories and fast food chains for minimum wage while they make millions.

        It's simple logic. Everything is about profit.

        September 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • malibu123

      ...and you're one of them.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blogger1776

      Yes, Tom, some people DO drink the Kool-Aid. Those Republican "obstructionists" are trying to keep this country from becoming an open-border, socialist welfare-state of massive governmment dependency and limited freedoms.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Yourang

    NEWS FLASH . . .

    Just in from the Obama News Network . . .

    Certainly this is evidence that Mitt Romney makes way too much money; compounded by fall-out from the GW Bush Administration and GOP failed policies of eight years ago!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Learn to count bud... GWB's presidency ended 4 years ago. But it lasted 8 years so I can see how you were confused.

      Secondly, there's nothing about any president in this article, just the unfortunate situation that 46 million americans find themselves. in.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sally27

      I'll bet several of these children have 5 or 6 brothers and sisters.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  85. yaa

    First world problems. There are countries where:
    1. Being poor means no food on some days of the week.
    2. Dinner for children only, parents are never hungry.
    3. Selling kids ! in the hope that they will get food and cloths at least.
    4. Being humiliated.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Robmey/tea bagger solution kill em all

      September 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  86. spyroo

    im an imigrant from mexico who came here at sixteen learned to write and read english i didnt go to school but learned a trade i used to make close to 20 bucks an hour and when the market crashed went from 20 to 13 an hour so i picked up a second job and no am not rich but i live well and my secret is no drugadiction or smoking try it it it actually works

    September 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      Good for you for taking personal responsibility. You could teach people who expect their government to pull them up by their boot straps an aweful lot.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • sally27

      Congratulations. You have self-respect.ambition and pride great assets..Please don't vote for Obama because you will need three jobs !

      September 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  87. ug

    It is all obamas fault too.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Scott G. Howell

    Being poor is all the that Mr. Scalzi says, as well as feeling helpless as the future comes because how will I ever get out of my situation? How will I get to give my daughters any of the things I had when I was younger?

    September 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • sally27

      when Romney wins he will find a way to help him find a job.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Mickey

    Victim of globalization!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricksta

      Victims of unregulated Wall Street greed.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Raul

    Keep buying Chinese manufactured goods! Buying cheap has a price, that America is paying for. Bring jobs back to North America. Buy NAFTA made, and help the regions economy. It will only get worse.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Dirk the Daring

    "Poor and content is rich,
    and rich enough
    But riches fineless is as poor as winter
    To him that ever fears he shall be poor."

    From William Shakespeare's "Othello"

    September 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Ron

    Are you sure having all this is poor. For most of my years I hadn't notice I was poor with the ramen noodles, picking trash and only having a stove in one room.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  93. HarvTy

    Our impotent leader is leading more and more citizens into the humiliating life of dependence on the government. A real leader would create opportunties for folks to create for themselves a path to self-sufficiency.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh boy

      And Mr. Romney is going to change all that and help these people? Lol your delusional.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomGI

      How would YOU do that, be specific.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mint

      How would the President just pull jobs out of thin air for you? Sorry, but take your complaints to the companies that have shipped all their production overseas. Stop blaming the President and immigrants that you imagine to be taking all these jobs that don't exist. Everyone wants to buy cheap stuff, companies ship jobs overseas so they can make tons of cheap stuff to sell you and then you complain there aren't jobs. You can blame everyone else, but your own consumer buying habits.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  94. billy blanks

    Oooooooooobama ooooooooooobama oooooooooooooooobama

    September 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  95. anony

    wow, I thought i had a rough childhood, but those remarks left powerful emotions in me. I also grew up in Southern California to a divorced family and the only child, I went through tough times but after I read this, I'm very moved. I think I need to collect my thoughts for a bit..

    September 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  96. POD

    I don't know?.....Ask Mitt Romney he seems to be an expert on Poverty in America with that 47% comment

    September 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Just could not miss the chance could you?
      Like Obama has done a great job !!

      September 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  97. huh?

    Not sure where or what the cover photo is from, but NONE of those people look like they've missed any meals. Mostly they look like they eat prettty darn well!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenny

      The irony of being poor and is that nutrient poor colorie rich foods are far cheaper (see USDA food desert maps) and more easily accesible, leading to a dovetail of being poor and being overweight. risk of diabetes and obesity tend to rise as your socioeconomic level falls due to the lack of access to proper nutrition.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Actually, if they ate well they likely wouldn't be fat. Those 99 cent burgers etc. that are cheaper than you can buy the ingredients for, are what's causing that fat.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Comments like yours are why some poor people can catch a break; they are judged by how they look. They have to make sure they don't look too good when going to ask for food stamps or else they will be turned down. Being poor doesn't always mean you have to look malnourished. Yeah, they LOOK like they haven't missed a meal, but what ARE they eating? Fast food that's has no nutrition? Until you have walked in their shoes, you have no right to judge them. You need to be grateful for what YOU have and pray that you don't end up like them.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ciemma

      Cheaper food is fattening food. Fast food – dollar menu stuff etc are all very fattening and unhealthy. If you have money, you can eat healthy. It is a lot easier at least.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Heaven forbid you should be poor or fat or both in America. According to most of the (presumably perfect or at least smugly self satisfied) commentators it's all your fault. You're a lazy loser with no self control, no will power, no self respect, yada yada yada. It's not just this poster who needs to grow some f-ing empathy. There is a saying – there but for the grace of God go I. Some call it karma. I suggest you learn about it before IT teaches YOU.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rio

      Before I experienced this myself I never thought it possible. I don't eat fast food at all, it's too expensive. I get one meal a day most days so my children can eat three meals, sometimes going without for a day if we run out of money or food. We don't get much meat because that is too expensive. We don't buy bread because that is too expensive, I kind of like it that way since I make bread everyday. So the diet of this house is frozen veggies, canned fruit and starch. I want to make this very clear for those who will say I am just lazy. I don't live like this out of choice, do you think I like the hunger pains from not eating? Do you think I like having to feed things to my children that I know is unhealthy? I have to stay home and watch the children because I can't afford a babysitter or daycare. My husband works two full time jobs just so we can live. I used to be middle class. I used to make enough money from just my one job to live well and be well. But medical debt changed all of that. I went bankrupt because I couldn't afford to keep my husband alive and pay the bills. Before you say such hateful things you should think about why people are in these situations. Most people don't choose to be poor. Poverty is a very terrible thing and I only hope that you never have to live like I do.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • poorpoor me

      Only in America can you be POOR and STILL BE FAT! Can I have a Handicapped Plackard Mr. Gov'mt?!?!?!

      September 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Bo Lies

    Just ask the 50,000,000 Obama put into poverty in the last 4 years.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • DNA

      yeah, Bush had nothing to do with that. moron

      September 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • billy blanks

        is that the liberal response to everything that looks bad for obama? typical liberal bs, zero accountability

        September 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Get A Clue

        DNA and Billy Blanks – GET A CLUE!!! Nobody's accountable!!

        September 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Not an Obama fan, but isn't the problem all the Middle Class jobs being shipped overseas?

      September 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      you guys were blaming Obama before he even took office.. It's just ignorant. People get into a cycle of blaming the president no matter who he is, without thinking.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • the_dude

      So is there any poinit in your life you are not going blame bush? I don't expect ofailure to fix every problem all at once but after 4 years it would be nice if he at least tried to start fixing things......

      September 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  99. DNA

    You could turn them into fertilizer for the lawns at Mitt's mansions.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Erin

    Welcome to my world

    September 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • GuyWithAjob

      Sounds like you are inept. Maybe you should apply yourself more.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
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