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'A national scandal:' AOC says the US is 'in denial' about the number of Americans actually living in poverty

a House Committee on Oversight and Reform
the Healthy Kids and Family Coalition
The Census Bureau

Jacquelyn Martin
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Amy Jo Hutchinson


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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York assailed how the federal government measures poverty on Wednesday, saying that it distorts the number of Americans barely scraping by day after day and that the figures are actually much higher."We do not want to recognize the level of poverty in this country because if we did it would be a national scandal," the progressive congresswoman said at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing.She went on: "We would have to force ourselves to acknowledge that our systems have failed." At one point, Ocasio-Cortez called it "a drastically mistaken number," noting it doesn't factor in healthcare costs, spending on childcare, rent hikes, or geographical cost-of-living variations."We have no idea how many are actually poor," she said in a follow-up tweet.The hearing focused on proposed changes from the Trump administration that would redefine guidelines around the poverty rate. It remains stubbornly high despite the decade-long economic recovery after the Great Recession.One in eight Americans still lives below the poverty line — which the Census defines as $25,465 for a family with two adults and two children.The official poverty measurement — which determines eligibility for federal assistance — compares a person's cash income before taxes against a threshold that's three times the price tag of the average 1963 food diet.

As said here by Joseph Zeballos-Roig