Study: Obama has mentioned the poor less than any other modern president

Study: Obama has mentioned the poor less than any other modern president

Mentions of poorHere’s the good news. The Barack Oamas will be heading to Martha’s Vineyard again in August after a hiatus from the posh vacation spot in 2012. At least it’s good news if you’re a member of the First Family. If you’re poor, you’ll be vacationing at scenic “porch-view.”

But at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that the president cares profoundly about you and is determined to improve your lot in life, right?

Well, maybe not. A new study by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate tabulated the number of times presidents past and present mentioned the poor in speeches, addresses, and written remarks dating back to John F. Kennedy.

Fox News summarizes the findings thus:

The study found that Lyndon B. Johnson, architect of the 1960s “War on Poverty,” was most apt, among the modern presidents, to mention the poor in some form or fashion: 84 percent of the time he made reference to any economic class. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter came next, with both mentioning the underclass approximately three-quarters of the time. Presidents Ford, Reagan, and George W. Bush all rated in the mid-to-high 60s, with Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton not far behind. George Herbert Walker Bush, the study found, was apt to speak about the poor fully half the time.

Only then — dead last in the Georgetown rankings — comes Barack Obama, who mentions the nation’s least well-off only 26 percent of the time.

He's got his, so what's the problem?
He’s got his, so what’s the problem?

But it’s a second statistic about the poor that is especially sobering. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate has increased from 13.1% in 2008 to 15.1% in its most recent calculations. But the poor have company in this instance. The Census Bureau also notes that household incomes in America have declined more during the Obama recovery than they did during the recession that his $800 billion stimulus was supposed to end.

For a man who promised in his 2008 nomination acceptance speech to be more “compassionate … than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty,” Obama has failed abysmally. The saddest part is that he hasn’t talked a good game.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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