George W. Bush

Bush on poverty: "What's a 'poverty'?"

CNN had this cheery holiday report for the era of George W. Bush, Compassionate Conservative:

According to the most recent Census Bureau statistics, nearly 36 million Americans lived in poverty in 2003, an increase of 1.3 million from 2002. And since 2000, 4.4 million more people in this country are living in poverty.

36 million. That means that one in every eight American citizens lives in poverty. It gets worse:

Fear and hunger walk hand in hand with poverty, and last year 12.6 million American households -- 11.2 percent of all American homes -- were afraid they might not be able to put enough food on the table, according to the Census Bureau. That's up more than 1.6 million households from the year 2000.

Bill Hicks once said that instead of developing missiles which can fire into air ducts, the government should use the same technology to fire food into the mouths of starving people.

Of these [12.6 million] families, 3.9 million said that one or more members of the family actually went hungry last year -- an 18.2 percent increase from 2000.

How does this jive with the GOP talking point of "traditional family values"? Stop the gays! Stop the stem cell research! Don't let John Kerry defend us with spitballs! But let millions of Americans starve. When will Mr. Bush stand up on a pile cardboard boxes with a megaphone and declare a war on poverty? "Starvation will hear from all of us soon!"