Mitt Romney's comment Wednesday about the social safety net has already been boiled down to a quick shorthand: "I'm not concerned about the very poor." It adds to a growing collection of statements that fuel charges that he has, if nothing else, a very tin ear and is an out-of-touch member of the .01 percent.
The nation's poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau. The agency's latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that 46 million people were poor and that the median income dropped last year by more than two percent to about $49,445.
Not unexpectedly, the continued lack of jobs was the main cause.