America and the poor, that is the subject of this evening's “Talking Points Memo.”
The aftermath of Katrina has produced a debate over poor Americans. There are about 37 million people living below the poverty line right now. The issue was described this way by Newsweek (search) reporter Evan Thomas (search), a liberal guy but not alone, who writes, "Liberals will say [the authorities] were indifferent to the plight of poor African-Americans. It is true that Katrina laid bare society's massive neglect of its least fortunate."
Massive neglect? Let's take a look at that bit of overstatement. Halfway through President Clinton's tenure in office in 1996, the poverty rate was 13.7 percent. Halfway through President Bush's tenure, the rate is 12.7 percent, a full point lower.
In 1996, the Clinton budget allotted $191 billion for poverty entitlements. That was 12.2 percent of the budget and a whopping amount of money. That's why Bill Clinton (search) was called the first black president by some.
However, the Bush 2006 budget allots a record shattering $368 billion for poverty entitlements, 14.6 percent of the entire budget, a huge increase over Clinton's spending on poverty entitlements.
Did the elite media mention that? Jesse Jackson (search) mention that? Of course they didn't, because it's much more convenient for Evan Thomas and others to imply America under President Bush has turned its back on the poor, but it's absolute nonsense.
Even in the midst of the war on terror, this country's spending a massive amount of money trying to help the poor. So why the lie? Because political gain can be made off the suffering of others, that's why.
Those who oppose the Bush administration don't care about the truth. They only want to advance their own agenda. So once again, the no- spin zone rides to the rescue.
Hard-working Americans are providing the poor with Medicaid, food stamps, supplemental security income, that's free money, child nutrition programs, welfare payments, child daycare payments, temporary assistance to needy families, foster care, adoption assistance, and health insurance for children.
But it will never be enough for the Jesse Jacksons and Howard Deans of the world, never. They told you the truth. They'd go out of business.
Now I fully expect to be attacked by the far left media for telling you all this. I'm sure they will label me a racist, a shill for Bush, stuff like that, but I don't care. The dollars don't lie. We are a generous nation. And that is the truth. And that is “The Memo.”
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Michael Jackson (search) has announced his lineup for a Katrina relief song. Among others, it features R. Kelly (search), Snoop Dogg (search), and James Brown (search), the godfather of soul. Apparently, O.J. Simpson (search) was busy, or maybe he can't sing.
Now, if you don't get that, all of those previous gentleman have records, OK? Not records singing, records in jail.
Might be ridiculous.
—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org