- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The White House highlighted a report Tuesday showing the biggest decline in the U.S. poverty rate since 1968.

President Obama’s chief economic adviser, Jason Furman, said the annual Census Bureau report “shows the remarkable progress that American families have made as the [economic] recovery continues to strengthen.”

The Census Bureau found that real median household income grew 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, the fastest annual growth on record. The number of people living in poverty fell by 3.5 million, resulting in the poverty rate falling from 14.8 percent to 13.5 percent, the largest decline in nearly 50 years.

The House Ways and Means Committee called the report “disappointing,” saying 2015 was the eighth consecutive year with more than 40 million people living in poverty, and there were 3.3 million more people in poverty than there were in 2008.

“Too many Americans are still struggling to provide for their families and reach their full potential,” said Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Texas Republican. “The federal government invests billions of dollars each year in programs to help low-income Americans — but more than 43 million people continue to live in poverty. It shouldn’t be this way in America.”

The White House, which has been under attack by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for policies failing black people, noted that there were “even larger improvements for African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and children” in the Census report.

While all racial and ethnic groups saw decreases in poverty rates from 2014 to 2015, Mr. Furman said, blacks and Hispanics saw the largest reductions in poverty, down 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Other statistics kept by the government have show blacks falling behind in recent years, including on the rates of black home ownership and labor force participation.

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