Guest Column: Times’ editorial does poor job of explaining facts
Thursday, January 12, 2012
By KATHY FISHER,
Times Guest Columnist
Your editorial (“Feds have a poor way of defining poverty,” Dec. 27) contains a host of inaccuracies:
First and foremost, the new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) is a work in progress. According to the Census Bureau it “will not replace the official poverty measure and will not be used to determine eligibility for government programs.”
The SPM is an experimental measure based on extensive research conducted since 1995, that reflects the income necessary for a family to make ends meet – pay for basic necessities – and factors in geographic differences in the cost of housing.
You lumped “near poor” – a term the Census does not even use (more shock value?) – into your criticism of the SPM. “Near poor” generally refers to families with incomes from 100-200 percent of poverty. Families at the income levels you highlighted ($89,700 for a family of four in Oakland; $80,000 in Washington, D.C.) would not qualify for Medicaid or SNAP (food stamps) even if a new poverty measure were adopted.To read the full article, please visit http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2012/01/12/opinion/doc4f0e262cac009667241870.txt.