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Thursday, February 9, 2012

READER'S POST # 9 - Al Sharpton Questions What Federal Programs We Have For The Poor

By: 32slim32

I sure hope no one spit any beverages on their monitor and keyboard after reading that headline. That’s even better than, "Resist we much. We must, and we will much about that be committed." Maybe that’s why New York Times best-selling author and radio host Mark Levin calls him Al Not-so Sharpton.

Newsbusters has a great story on it and audio from Sharpton’s  radio show here:

Here is Sharpton’s quote:

“The statement by Mitt Romney today, he's trying to walk it back saying that he wasn't concerned with the poor, concerned with the middle class, that he's trying to clarify it but even in his clarity I think he exposes to many the misconceptions. He said, well, there are programs for the poor, I meant my focus.

What programs for the poor? They [Republicans] keep acting as if poor people have all of these things that are helping them.”

Another interesting article to debunk Mr. Sharpton’s claim can be found here:

Also, you may want to download the entire 54 page report from the link above too on the Download pdf link at the story. (In yellow just below the headline on right side)

A couple of interesting excerpts from the above mentioned story:

“Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs.” 1st paragraph

“Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent $15.9 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dol­lars) on means-tested welfare. In comparison, the cost of all other wars in U.S. history was $6.4 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars).” 11th paragraph

BIG DISCLAIMER: This report came out 9/16/2009, so yes, the costs of the wars may have gone up, but so has welfare spending.

Holy Cow! Since the beginning of the War on Poverty we have spent $15.9 TRILLION on fighting poverty. Wow, that’s more than our entire debt which stands at $15.288 TRILLION (source: as of February 1st.

Census data shows the poverty rate in 1964 at 15.0% and in 2010 a rate of 11.7%.
I guess if you want to be optimistic, we should have this poverty thing whipped in about another $56 TRILLION or so.  Provided we can continue at the same rate of progress we have made over the past 46 years worth of data (1964-2010).

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to


  1. It's a decent write up but I'm not sure what your point is, slim.

    Is your position stating that Sharpton is clueless?

    Is it that we really do have ton's of programs for the poor?

  2. Hate to ask this here, as it's really off-topic, but what happened to Reader's Post # 10? Got it in my Google Reader, and it was brilliant... came here to comment, and it was gone.

  3. Jim McKee - Good morning. It did go live for about three minutes last night and we took it down. I apologize for any inconvenience.

    When we write up a Reader's Post we receive a word doc (.doc or .docx) and then format it to fit our blog. We send a screen shot and the final text back to the author for their approval. We do not publish anything live until their final approval. Last night, during editing, the "publish" button was clicked instead of the "save" button. This caused the RP to go live.

    The good news: it's back up now. Looking forward to yours and others' comments on it. It is well written and brings up an interesting topic. Thank you for following, Jim. Have a great day!