How much will it hurt Rick Perry that nearly 1 in 5 Texans live in poverty?
September 19th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

How much will it hurt Rick Perry that nearly 1 in 5 Texans live in poverty?

Rick Perry loves to talk about all the jobs he's created in Texas... but that's only part of the story... and a bit misleading at that.

The other part of the Perry story is that nearly 1 in 5 Texans in the state where he is the governor are living below the poverty line; and that the poverty rate is growing faster in Texas than the national average.

CNN Money reports that Texas ranks 6th in terms of people living in poverty.

Both demographic and economic factors play into this high poverty rate - more than half the state are minorities and many Texans have little education. Especially in southern Texas, many families live in shanty housing with no electricity or indoor plumbing. In 2011.

Also, the poor in Texas don't get much help. The state has one of the lowest rates of spending on its citizens per capita; and it has the highest share of those without health insurance.

Relatively few Texans collect food stamps - even though many more qualify for them - and receiving cash assistance is difficult. Experts say part of the reason more people don't seek help is the Texas mentality that you should pick yourself up by your own bootstraps.

For his part, Texas governor Rick Perry says creating jobs is the best way to help his citizens. And it's true that Texas has created 40% of the jobs added in the U.S. in the past two years.

But many of these new jobs are low-paying ones. More than half a million workers in Texas last year were paid at or below the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That's just $15,000 dollars a year for someone working full-time.

Texas has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country... tying with Mississippi at nearly 10%.

With jobs and the economy sure to be the top issue in 2012...

Here’s my question to you: How much will it hurt Rick Perry that nearly one in five Texans are living in poverty?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: 2012 Election • Gov. Rick Perry • Texas
What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?
September 19th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Barack Obama is throwing the U.S. Postal Service a lifeline. But maybe he shouldn't.

It's all part of the president's larger plan to cut $3 trillion from deficits over the next 10 years.

First, the president would allow the postal service to raid $7 billion from an overfunded pension account to avoid financial collapse.

The agency is facing a serious cash crunch and is expected to hit its $15 billion borrowing limit in a couple of weeks.

That is why Obama also wants to give the postal service more time to make a $5.5 billion payment to a health care retiree fund that's due at the end of this month.

The White House plan would allow the Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery and raise the price of a first-class stamp another 2 cents to 46 cents.

Obama is against letting the Postal Service void union contracts to lay off 120,000 postal workers. The Postal Service itself proposed layoffs in its own cost-cutting plan.

Republicans are slamming the White House plan - especially the part about using $7 billion from its extra contributions to the pension plan. They say instead of fundamental reform, this plan uses "accounting gimmicks."

The Postmaster General has acknowledged that the agency faces a "new reality." He's looking to cut $3 billion a year by closing hundreds of processing facilities, cutting equipment in half and slowing mail delivery.

With the use of e-mail and other electronic communication, it's clear the Postal Service has become a dinosaur: There are 43 billion fewer pieces of mail sent now than four years ago.

Yet our government is intent on throwing more taxpayer dollars down the drain.

Here’s my question to you: What should happen to the U.S. Postal Service?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: Postal Service