Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?
What about your neighbors or other Americans?

I don't buy the newspaper very often, but last week a USA Today front page caught my eye. On the big front page picture was Bush speaking at his convention. To the right of his head was a headline that read, Census: Poverty rose by million. The juxtapositioning was rather poetic, I thought.

So, what does that census report really say? View the Census Bureau Briefing Room.
Real median income peaked in 1999, was unchanged in 2000, declined over the next 2 years (by a cumulative 3.3 percent), and was unchanged in 2003.
For the third consecutive year the poverty rate rose, from 12.1 percent in 2002 to 12.5 percent in 2003. The number of people in poverty increased also, by 1.3 million, to 35.9 million in 2003.
So, what is the administration's response? How does Bush react to the announcement that 1/8 of the U.S. population is now officially in poverty? He shrugs his shoulders and lies:
Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans will announce a new economic Indicator on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2004. The new economic indicator will be released by the U.S. Census Bureau and will be used as an additional tool to better understand the trends of the services sector of the U.S. economy. It is the first new economic indicator to be introduced by the Census Bureau in 40 years.
Blessed are the poor ...