Obama’s Record On Poverty

Paul Tough examines it. He emphasizes that Obama moved aggressively to support poor families as the financial crisis took hold:

If you do count food stamps and other noncash aid, the poverty rate has, according to some calculations, not gone up much at all during the Obama administration, during the worst economic crisis in 70 years. That is a remarkable accomplishment. When I asked William Julius Wilson last month for his thoughts on the current administration’s antipoverty efforts, he said that Obama had “done more for lower-income Americans than any president since Lyndon Baines Johnson.”

Jared Bernstein pushes back on Tough's framing:

I found it interesting that Tough cites William J Wilson in numerous places but pays too short shrift to one of Wilson’s most prominent conclusions: the dwindling employment and earnings opportunities of the historical marriage partners of many single moms’ whose families are stuck in deep poverty. The loss of family-wage jobs to non-college educated men—and not just minority men—was a well-documented problem even when Wilson wrote his influential treatise on urban poverty—The Truly Disadvantaged—in the 1980s, and it was a core theme of the book.