The height of paternalistic arrogance:
North Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates and percentage of citizens experiencing food hardship in the nation. This is especially true for children under age 5 and our seniors. Even as the demand for emergency food assistance continues to grow, in the last session of the General Assembly funding for the state’s food banks was cut by almost half.
Sometimes I wonder if the more outrageous antics of the Republicans are by design, to keep us from noticing stuff like this that really hurts people. Of course, there are some Republican idiots who don't believe there's a problem:
North Carolina Republican State Representative George Cleveland earned some criticism today for claiming during a hearing that there is no extreme poverty in his state. A progressive blog run by the North Carolina Justice Center caught the quote:
How utterly detatched from reality is the conservative crowd running the North Carolina General Assembly? For one good indicator, check out this quote from this morning’s House Select Committee to Dismantle Early Childhood Education — it’s from State Rep. George Cleveland:
“We have nobody in the state of North Carolina living in extreme poverty.”
That’s an abject falsehood, of course. Nearly eight percent of North Carolina’s population lives in deep poverty, which experts define as an income below half of the poverty line, far above the national average. The latest census showed that 17.5 percent of the state lives in poverty, the 13th highest rate in the country.
According to Mark Binker, a reporter for a local paper who was covering the hearings via Twitter, Cleveland attempted to clarify his remarks by explaining that poverty levels were “just a govt agency perpetuating a poverty class.”
Here are some stats on Cleveland's very own Onslow County:
The median income for a household in the county was $33,756, and the median income for a family was $36,692. Males had a median income of $22,061 versus $20,094 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,853. About 10.80% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.70% of those under age 18 and 14.70% of those age 65 or over.
But it was "the government" that caused all that "fake poverty" in the County. What an idiot...