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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 (1,694 Responses)
  1. 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 |
  2. BlackDynamiteNYC

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

    September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 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 |
  4. 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 |
  5. 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 |
  6. 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 |
  7. Jeb

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

    0%

    Seriously

    September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 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 |
  9. 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 |
  10. 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 |
  11. 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 |
  12. 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 |
  13. 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 |
  14. 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 |
  15. 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 |
  16. long fisch

    Outstanding!!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  17. 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 |
  18. RickBangkok

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

    September 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  19. 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 |
  20. 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 |
  21. 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 |
  22. 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 |
  23. 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 |
  24. 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 |
  25. 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 |
  26. 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 |
  27. 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 |
  28. 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 |
  29. 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 |
  30. 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 |
  31. 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 |
  32. 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 |
  33. 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 |
  34. 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 |
  35. 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 |
  36. 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 |
  37. 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 |
  38. 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 |
  39. 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 |
  40. disgusted

    I'm tired of all of the whiners! My family grew up poor...in1948. They worked hard, saved a lot, put their own kids through college when they didn't have an education themselves and taught us (lacking today) how to be better and more successful than they were. We were more successful without government handouts. Student loans were paid off, businesses built, and the country served. I feel before this country comes together or people really start working hard again, it will be torn apart in some fashion.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You're clueless. People work harder now than they did in 1948. And this isn't 1948. Wages have not kept pace with inflation. It isn't nearly as easy to climb out of poverty now as it was in 1948.

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

        Oh, and let me add, I'm not making excuses. I'm actually part of the so-called "rich."

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

      yes thank god.

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

      1948 is entire worlds away from the kind of economy we live in today. But thanks for investing in bootstraps and pulling yourself up with them. Others may not be so lucky; I don't like it, but I won't say nobody anywhere ever might need some assistance.

      Government is supposed to help people; I like that we don't have 90%+ of our taxes going toward police and the armed forces like some countries that we would never wish to live in.

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

      Your story is just like mine and I am in the 1%. In fairness, it is the trickle-up economy that created so many poor people. Try to do it again in today's environment and let us know if you can be successful again.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  41. travis

    I was raised poor, so what my parents still loved me! It made me a better person, and when the economy is bad it doesn't effect me because I know how hard it can get. Life can always be worse. I wouldn't change anything growing up. What really scares me are the Millions that rely on the Government. If the government doesn't have the money to sustain the social programs which as it stands we are over 100% GDP spending, and we are projected to be over 20 million by 2016. That folks is bad news. Republican or Democrat. This is everyone's problem. Hopefully the government can stop spending without a budget soon, or all 300+ million of us no matter your status will be in bad shape.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Sam

      Amen!!

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

      If balancing the budget is so important, lets do it on the backs of the rich and the military industrial complex, not the ubber poor and starving.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Benster

    What does it matter to you what I do with the money I worked hard for and saved? Why should I be made responsable to share the wealth to those who have no desire to work or improve their own status? I worked so hard to get where I am at so that I can enjoy my senior years and leave somthing behind to my family.So far this year (9 months) I have been taxed a little over $11,000+ so some can sit on their be-hind and not work, so they can go get their Air Jordans on my dime, so they can have an Iphone and $30,000 car in front of their home with $10,000 rims on them while I drive a 10 year old car so I can save? Obama hs an agenda to stop the American dream , may God have mercy on our nation and children.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      And I paid almost 6 thousand in federal income tax, but I bet I earn alot less than you.

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

      Nonsense. Very little of your tax money goes to the type of people you describe. Almost every penny goes to the military, social security, and Medicare. Quit believing in easily disproven myths. And, btw, I've paid well over $20,000 so far this year to the fed. government, and I'm perfectly ok with it. I work hard, as does almost everyone, but I recognize that I get a lot for that tax money.

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

      Um, is this the line for the 30K car with 10K rims? I'm sick of working my 2 jobs, with combined hours above 60+, for a bit over the author's good deal... I paid close to 7.5K in taxes last year, and didn't get a dime back in a return.. So for those of you getting money back, paying nothing in, because you've got kids? You're welcome! I have none. - Now, as for you, mister – While a lot of folks might be stuck in that "you owe me because", there's a ton of folks out there going "I'll make it, even if it kills me".. they're the one's that, for some reason, just don't qualify for any assistance, and frankly, don't want it. So before you go off on people getting assistance, some folks just plain don't want that. They want to work. They want to earn. But there is nowhere to do it! And that isn't our president's fault, nor his predecessor, but his predecessor's father, in a way. Mainly, it's greedy owners who saw a way to charge less for their products, pay their employees less, and increase their profits. Few and far between is the business owner willing to take a 10% pay cut in order to keep his staff employed. Most would rather just fire the employee, then claim some loss that, on the books, gets them a tax deduction, thus increasing their monies, as well as the company's appearance on the books.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jeb

    It was in the news the other day that Paul Ryan and his wife had a combined income of $300,000 last year.

    In response Romney said, "see I really do reach out to the poor."

    September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Walter

    If you are already "poor", do not, I repeat, do not have any more children.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark anderson

      This make sense.

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

      The average family size of those living in poverty is 2.1 but feel free to continue spouting your obnoxious stereotypes.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  45. mustangvoodoo1

    Come on people, the Romney's know what it's like to be poor and have hard times!!! Didn't you hear when Ann Romney told the world," During college we were desparate to the point we were considering selling some stocks out of our portfolio?"

    September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark anderson

      Obama fakes being poor once. He actually lived his whole life in the upper class..

      September 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Galactus93

    Just think of the millions of jobs that we could give the poor if the Federal Government just did their job and deported all illegal aliens.

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

      haha nice one.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  47. mark anderson

    Poor in America is not being able to live close to the same standard as those around you.
    Or not being able to live as marketing suggests everyone else does.

    Sorry you had to wear store bought shoes that were glued heels instead of hand stiched Gucci's

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

      Way to take one VALID point and twist it around to attack someone who grew up in a very sad environment. If there i any truth to Karma, you are in trouble.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. hrdARKpenguin

    i reccomend the "safe way" which is to not tax anybody, that way products would be cheap, middle class would gain money, lower class wouldnt even exist. let the government be the lower class once in a while, they've always gone to the fancy stuff like spa's, steak every night if they want, heck they got private jets! the government shouldnt even work like this, they should get money by how we get money. insurance? ppsh like im gonna pay you every month. did i mention that the government can get stuff that even higher class cant get? and the army, they should raise the price. im 13 by the way...

    September 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Just Sayin'

    People in the "poor" lineup don't look like they're starving....Matter of fact, they all look like they could do without food for a few days...

    September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  50. bobjones

    America: Where success is punished and laziness rewarded.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jeb

    Romney feels your pain.

    He knows how hard it is to keep seven roofs over your family.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Yes and Obama is not a 1 percenter??? Could I intrest you in a bridge??

      September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  52. tucsand

    I say lets get the whole republican party on "Are you smarter than a 5th grader "

    September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      You insinuate that repubs are stupid and at the same time claim they are the one percenters??? Where does that leave you?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Weslh

      As a Republican that makes 120K now that I figured out that working hard actually pays off – being smarter than a fifth grader is where you still are (or not as smart as fouth grader). I do not need the Democrat hand-outs. You need to get into the real party that knows how to make money and quit mowing lawns.

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

        Poor John, another blame someone else guy because they forgot to get an education!!! What can we say. It is never too late to go back to collage – than you can not blame anybody but yourself. Name calling shows your mentality just a little more. Your station in life is what you decided to make of it and is not a repub/ or dem issue at all. obama passed a law (tarp) that helped me refinance my home and I used it and we saved $450 a month. You just have to use some of that space upstairs.

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

    America: Where being poor and being obese are ubiquitous.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  54. BS

    I grew up in a trailor. Hand pump for water. Never had new clothes, always from good will.......many of the poor these days are on welfare and have cell phones, smoke, do drugs and have new cars......

    September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      Many more of them do not...

      September 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Dave

    Four more years! He may not bring any of you up, but at least he has a plan to take away from the wealthy. And after all, thats really what libs want anyway.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  56. K Tallent

    Poor is relative...Having a plastic laundry hamper would be considered wealthy in other countries...

    September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Michael Weslh

    You think you are poor now – just give obama four more years and then you will know what poor means and what not owning a gun means, etc.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Like Romney will get us out of anything. At least with Obama at worse it will stay the same, Romney will make this a 3rd world country.

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

        yes and it is very scary to think enough of the sheepeole could get him elected Dems VOTE

        September 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  58. bobjones

    America: Where being poor means not having 3 50" LCD TVs.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Jeb

    Romney was accused of being out of touch when he made a $10,000 bet during one of the debates.

    In his defense he said, "I'm sorry, that's all I had in my pocket at the time."

    September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Lou Cypher

    A deadly and quotable quip, sir, you are truly skilled.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  61. bobjones

    Americans have no idea what poor is. Look around at socialist and 3rd world countries where they live, eat and drink their own filth.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Slave mentality.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  62. getalife

    Fight for the middle class and poor.

    They need jobs and the gop refuse to cooperate.

    Vote out the gop and do the right thing.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  63. bobjones

    Democrats: Keeping people poor since 1961.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  64. DE

    Due to stupid delusional republican economic policies I was laid off the day after Obama was inaugurated (certainly not his fault) and had I not been old enough to retire, we would be in the same situatuion. Repugs are going to completely eliminate the middle class with their policies.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Weslh

      Poor guy was not smart enough to see it coming – if you knew how to do anything, you could have had a nice job the next day. But most Dems have that same mentality – wait until the last minute than blame someone else.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  65. bobjones

    Four more years of Obama and we will ALL have a very good idea what it's like to be poor.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • DE

      You are obviously completely out of touch, totally ignorant of the facts, or a racist, your comment emplies one or maybe all of them. Republicans are responsible for the majority of these people being in the situiation they arein; the month I was laid off (Jan. 09) over 750,000 people lost their jobs before ANY of Obama's policies had been put in place. Talk to someoin who works in the auto industry.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Mort

    I grew up in a wealthy house with parents that did the same. We joked about poor people, said it was their fault, etc. Big shock when I joined their ranks after my parents were gone and I had medical problems. Got back on top, but had extra chances based on an education that I couldn't have afforded it my parents hadn't paid for it. Now, I have a completely different outlook and wish I could share it with my parents.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Jeb

    Romney was embarrassed the other day.

    A homeless guy asked him for a dollar and all he had was Swiss Francs.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Mulator

    Another reason to vote for that Derelict in the White House.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  69. getalife

    cons are worthless and fight for welfare for rich people that need no help.

    What a horrible existence they lead.

    Waste of our money is what they fight for.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  70. PJTop

    They put you in jail if you don't pay child support? Yeah, maybe, eventually, in some jurisdictions. My nephew is still waiting, after several years, for his deadbeat ex-wife to pay more than about $40 of the thousands she's in arrears. She's been threatened by the state agency with jail. First they suspended her driver's license. So she paid $20 of the child support. That set the clock back to zero and she got her license back. Family court judge ordered her to get a job. Family court judge ordered a psych evaluation. Never happened. She's been ruled in contempt and warned not to do it again. Like she cares, because so far, she hasn't felt the consequences. The courts are backed up, and kids are going without. The laws are better now than they were 20 years ago, but that doesn't mean they're enforced fully or fairly.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Lar5

    Mitt,there isn't a "etch a sketch" big enough to show this latest flip flop.100%, baloney. You are a 47% guy (with a Swiss bank account) forever and ever! You cannot be serious about this latest U turn. The voters get it, the working poor get it and the middle class get's it. The only person that doesn't is you.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark anderson

      Lar5, Sorry but you are attempting to discredit Mitt. This is an inaccurate statement. Mitt gives more in charity then you will make in a life time.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • saidso

      The 47% is the group that does not pay income taxes. Mitt didn't pay income taxes, he's a part of the 49% It doesn't matter if he gave to charity. It doesn't matter of you're a grandma collecting SS. It doesn't matter if you paid payroll taxes, state taxes, or sales taxes. You're all a part of the 49% if you didn't pay INCOME taxes. Implying that have the nation is leeching off the system because they're a part of the 49% is dishonest and people who do it should be ashamed.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Leftcoastrocky

    The poor should "self-deport"
    Mitt Romney 2012

    September 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  73. liberal destruction strikes again!

    obamanomics! keep supporting this leftist toser, don't stop until we are compared to Greece! which is not far away

    September 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Jupiter

    I have chosen the cheaper ramen. I opened a very small small business mid 2009. That was the last paycheck I saw. We are still here but barely. Between the federal taxes, state taxes, property taxes, sale taxes and every regulation in between, I can't pay myself. I don't have television and haven't for almost 3 yr, I have the cheapest cell phone on the planet, I do not have internet at my house. We do eat red meat about once every 2-3 weeks. We barely drive anywhere b/c of gas prices. I have seen a lot of my customers lose their jobs especially in the past 2 years. There so many homes foreclosed on in my area (which is wealthy for my state) it is unbelievable. On top of that, now I am forced to have to pay for other people's abortions; my civil liberties are now in the trash. Something has to give. I am so tired of people having "indignant anger" over large coorporations. Really? Thats your response to the crummy financial state we are in. Really?? And by the way (off the subject, since I am just starting to rant now), if a congressman gets busted for taking gifts and trips from lobbyists now, they no longer get their lifetime pension: they shouldn't get a life time pension at ALL. They were smart enough to get where they got in the first place; they can figure out how to make money on their own when they leave office. I don't care what friggin party you are in.

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

      Same boat here. Picked the wrong time to start a new business. Been extremely tough. Obamacare is not going to help matters, looks like lots of extra expenses coming my way! The fiscal cliff coming up will not help either, I think that the odds of our politicos fixing the problem is near zero..

      September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Dude, you were doing good until you talk about paying for abortions. Makes no sense. Infact, in the worst sense you'd be paying for other peoples living expenses if they were not aborted. Yeah, that is a stupid argument but I'm just saying that is not your problem. You're not making money because so many that make a lot of money are dependent upon you not making any.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Rob

    Just one more thing. Take a second to recognize the person that is helping you in the businesses that you go to. For whatever reason, you might be financially ok but everyday you are helped out by those that do there job but do not make enough to support themselves or a family. You can say that they could do something else but then who is going to do that job. You should be able to work hard and make a living. Even if that job does not seem that significant to others!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  76. John

    I've been poor, dirt poor. I know all about cheap ramen, popcorn and clothes with holes in them. But you know what I did? I didn't rely on my government to help me, I helped myself. I pulled myself up, got more education, took risks and applied myself. I know all about being poor, but I don't need any govenment help to pick me up, in fact I want the govenement to keep it policies and hands off my me and the opportunities that this great country provides.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      You didn't rely on the government to help you? Um, who provided you with that education you got? You were able to go to a $20k/year private school? Or was it (ahem) a public school?

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

        Taxpayers, not the government!

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

      The BUMS lost Lebowski!
      lol

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

      How exactly did you pull yourself up if you were dirt poor? Specifically, how did you afford an education without the government? A Pell Grant? Student Loan? Loan from a relative? If you worked your way through with a job, then you were making plenty before you went to school. Something doesn't add up in your argument. I, too, advanced myself through school from living in squalor with no running water as a kid. But it was government assistance that made all that possible.

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

        Taxpayer assistance.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  77. proud to be american

    not one person in that line looks like they're starving.....just saying

    September 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan-Canada

      @ proud to be american.....and I'll bet anyone, that most of them probably have the newest cell phone.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  78. mark anderson

    OMG! Really? This guy in the story just said
    1. He owned a car ........................but it was used
    2. He had a free lunch every day at school.......so he nevew went hungry
    3. He had store bought shoes ........but they were not Gucci
    4. He stole meat.............not because he was hungry but he was embarresed about food stamps
    5. He Owned a tv............but complained that his mom did not buy the junk from every advertiser
    6. He lived near a freeway................not in beverly hills
    7. His mother was not happy with $8.00 an hour........when minimum wage in the 80's was $3.55
    Must I go on??????
    Poor in this country is not keeping up with the joneses

    September 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Used cars can be bought for $500, and used TVs for $20. Shirts at Goodwill could cost 3 dollars. Need I go on?

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

      Agreed, Mark. It sounds like his mom made some poor choices.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  79. saddaysahead

    And four more years with Obama will raise the number even further

    September 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  80. hrdARKpenguin

    uh heres the thing we should split the money frim the higher class then split the money from middle class and give it to the lower class. though if we tax the higher class then the cost of the product would increase. technichaly theres no answer to poverty unless the government gives away the money and dont ask for tax. I'm 13 and i cant believe that you grown ups are giving bad ideas... no offense.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  81. jo an

    I recall having to wait a week to buy a 3cent stamp...my mom sorting which bills to pay...little to eat....not fun..

    September 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  82. getalife

    Thank you for asking senor about Dowd's column.

    He changed the subject like a coward.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  83. The Big Troll

    According to Michelle Obama, her and her husband grew up poor....if you believe that, I have several bridges for sale....

    September 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jo an

      Obama's mom was on food stamps...Obama lived, at times, with his grandparents in a rented 500 sq ft. apt...Michelle's family lived in a one bed room apt. the living room was divided for Michelle and her brother...what is your definition of POOR??

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

        And went to expencive private schools.....

        September 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Tim

    While I am fortunate to have been given opportunity when younger, and I made the most of it, my heart goes out to those less fortunate. This is not an Obama vs. Romney thing, it is about human compassion for those less fortunate. Would this 1%er really notice an outsized donation to a local family who is hungry or dresses from the Goodwill store? I think not. What seems small to many, is HUGE for others. Let's leave all the politics aside and be caring human beings for a change. Donate to the local food back, adopt a local family at Thankgiving, buy a basket of gifts for the local foster home for Christmas. You won't notice it and they will remember it forever. Being poor is not just about lack of money. There is a certain feeling that the rest just don't care. But most of us do. Let's step up and (even if we do pay our fair share and then some) give someone a break. It is just what decent human beings are supposed to do.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark anderson

      Tim,
      The thing is I do donate to charity. I just do not like the democrats deciding who it goes to and how it spent. Maybe the real poor are in third world countries and I want to give to them.

      Republicans are more generous with donation then democrats. This is a fact and one of the differences between us.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra Holcomb

      I couldn't have said it better myself – I was reading article aloud to my family and started crying.....................thank you Tim

      September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • mpDallas

      Right on Tim that is the best answer I have seen in weeks. Wish i knew you.

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

      I actually agree with you, I really do. I donate my time and money generously and I believe it is a matter of basic human decency. However, it should be MY CHOICE to do these things, not a government mandate. I control where my time and money goes. I contribute to the Food Bank, and I donate my time there. I adopt a needy family for the holidays and give those children more than their "Angel Tree" list asks for. I teach English as a second language for Latinos. I donate the maximum that my company will match in charitable giving, and I require community involvement from my direct reports and their staff. I am a Republican, and I do my part for others, which is more than most of the Democrats who are on every message board berating Republicans as greedy and "uncaring" . What I can't support is being disproportionately taxed by the government, with no control where my resources go. In American we are promised the right to qual opportunity, and the Obama administration is saying that we should be guaranteed equal results... Wrong, wrong, and wrong

      September 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Muslim John

    Good job America! Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75. How do those 2 billion dollar war planes help poor Americans? Who exactly did all those bailouts help? All those wars, corruption, lies, and theft for what?

    September 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  86. getalife

    Harmon is right.

    Not a good time to change leadership back to failed neocons like senor or rookie like romney..

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

      You don't get it. Obama has caused this.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  87. J0hnZ

    I sympathize with the poor .... the real poor. not someone that has lost their fortune due to bad deals.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  88. joerizal

    Being poor means not being able to read this article because one can't read or write, let alone have the money to access the internet.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Dejavu65

    PLEASE READ:.........Lets vote for the guy who looks down in disdain upon 47%(mostly vets, elderly, very poor),......... who accuses middle class Americans of not paying enough taxes, yet he hides his own tax record from us because he knows he has used loopholes to avoid taxes and pays at a lesser rate than 98% of the country even though he is worth 250million,.......,...... who is itching to start WW3 with Russian, Iran and half the middle east,............who will raise interest rates on student loans and cut pell grants making it harder for out kids to afford college because he believes parents should have 80K just sitting in their bank account to afford college........who will extend Bush tax cuts for the rich but will let the middle class tax cuts expire for us in 2013? ARE YOU SERIOUS!!,, No thanks Romney!!!...
    Obama/Biden 2012!!!.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  90. dscon

    are YOU doing better since obama................
    at least we can see from the Photo here, that "those" ppl are not obama's homey's?
    and might not vote "liberal"?

    September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Bribarian

    Welcome to the Jewnited States

    September 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  92. getalife

    Vote gop for another collapse.

    We will all be poor.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • tucsand

      There ya go, we will be at equal levels and the complaining stops 🙂

      September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  93. tucsand

    II have a feeling we all will be that way as the recession continue and a possible depression forms. From experience it sucks being poor especially around the holidays that you want to get gifts people want but just do not have the money and the advertising companies really make you feel the guilt. They want the country's obesity level to drop but the only thing people can afford on food stamps are deep fried microwaveable gain while you eat food. The wealthy are making too much money off the poor with bad loans and credit card debt they don't want the system changed.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Ghoy

    Sadly according to statistics there will always be a lower class and those in poverty......

    September 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  95. $300 in my checking account until payday

    Being poor is a cough that doesn’t go away.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  96. juanersla

    I have a lot of sympathy for the poor, I really do. But, you also need to take responsibility for your own life. Why do the poor seem to have more children. Children are expensive! Another mouth to feed, when you can't feed yourself. In my 20's I went through a rough patch. What did I do? I bought pasta and lots of canned 79 cent pasta sauce and I bought chicken when on sale. I ate well and I ate smart according to my budget. I have never lived outside of my means, NEVER and to this day I save money and splurge when I want but I never touch my savings. I understand that we all need to help each other, but I can't help you unless you help yourself first!

    September 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Really? "Why do the poor seem to have more children?" Because the g–d- repubs are preventing them access to affordable birth control and abortion, that's why! Because the more poor people there are, the lower wages they can get away with paying, that's why!

      September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neelyahs

      I agree with you. But not everyone has the same mindset as you. It would only make sense not to create more expenses and live within your means, but when you are born into an environment where the mindset and mentality is "poor", that's what you get. No excuses, it's just a fact. But guess what, it doesn't have to be like that. That can change but it would take the cooperation and sacrifice of everyone and mainly those with wealth to BEGIN to change the conditions and mindset of a GENERATION of individuals with that "poor mindset". And I am not talking color. I am talking socioecononmic status and that spans ALL colors.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • mark anderson

        Wrong. Leave us alone. Stop trying to take from one to give to another.

        September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  97. getalife

    cons love them some wealthy and corporate welfare.

    They bow down for the wealthy.

    cons are pathetic and weak.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  98. getalife

    Ask senor about his failed occupations cnn.

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

      I don't think most Americans realize what poor really means. When you have to eat boiled grass for meals because thats all there is, that is poor. (Like in some African countries) Or in China when your sent to beg for money on the dirty street holding a baby while people just walk on by, that is poor. When two cities have 3 tons of food looted from the grocery store to give to the food bank, that is poor. That was last week in Spain. Whats happening here in the US to divide the rich from the poor, the economy is just about to collapse here and we will see the poor turn even poorer.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  99. bleedsnyblue

    someone profoundly mentioned that being poor was when mom and dad told you they were full, and to go ahead and finish their supper. I wonder when the last time was that the Replutocrat candidates or their families, or their friends and their families missed a meal, because they didn't have enough to go around? And I think that answer is: NEVER. But I'm sure that they'd very sincerely tell the 20% of kids in America that go to bed hungry each night (surely the fault of the lazy, worthless, stupid 47% of their countrymen and women who have no right to ask for ANYTHING while the 1%ers can still cram another car in their overflowing garages, or more shrimp and caviar in their overflowing gullets) that "adversity builds character," and to "suck it up," or something like that. But really, with great sympathy. Because character is the only thing that none of them have, and all their money can'y buy.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • m12

      thank goodness Obozo is helping the poor by providing so much company for them
      They will never have to worry about being alone with Obozo around, there will always be plenty of poor, begging from the govt instead of finding the solace of a productive job

      September 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • bleedsnyblue

        Gee, I didn't take potshots at anyone for eliminating the middle class, since that's been happening steadily since Nixon. But now that ya mention it...it's been going on for the last century in this country, and wealth is even more stratified now than it was before the Great Depression. Because guys like George W., Mittens, and the rest of the decadent country club so-called "culture" of greed, most of whom have never worked a day in their misbegotten LIVES, just spent their great-grandaddy's inheritance and had daddy pull strings to keep them out of JAIL, can never have enough. And you're probably the ignorant jack@$$ they tp a buck to park their limos. PI$$ OFF>

        September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mel7129

        Pray-tell how does somebody too poor to eat three meals a day afford the training for a "productive job"? Even if the government gives you money for college or trade school, it doesn't cover living expenses. And good luck getting a "productive job" when you don't know how to use a computer because you're too poor to have one at home to train on.

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

      hey genius are you saying all repubs are rich and never experienced pain or poverty. We did you jerk we started out poor and worked our way up while you were watching gilligans island and masturbating

      September 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  100. jim

    Fat does not equal lazy. Fat means that you like to eat too much.

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

      That's not true. Each case is different.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
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