Rev. Jesse Jackson Questions Why Presidential Candidates Have Not Addressed Poverty
The civil rights leader said he wants to hear Romney and Obama's plans for the poor. Currently, 20 percent of Pottstown's residents are below the poverty line.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson wants to know what Gov. Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama plan to do about the poor.
According to Politico.com, Jackson said that many of the key issues for average Americans have not been discussed by the candidates.
“Not one moderator has raised the issue of poverty or the issue of low credit scores,” Jackson said to Politico. “Fifty million people are in poverty. Another 50 million are ‘unbankable’ — they have a credit score so low they can’t borrow money for the bank…they go to the worst schools, have the fewest life options…yet from that group comes our soldiers. That’s where the 47 percent resides.”
According to the latest Census data, 20.3 percent of Pottstown residents are below the poverty line. The community here has a higher rate than the overall Pennsylvania poverty average of 16.4 percent.
Jackson said there are topics of discussion that the recent debates should have included. Jackson said “poverty, disparities, violence and public education are among the most critical of the day."
According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the Census Bureau says poverty rates in America stayed at record levels in 2011.
“The overall poverty rate stood at 15 percent, statistically unchanged from the 15.1 percent rate in the previous year,” said the report.
From Pottstown to Washington, D.C., the rate of poverty may be remaining stagnant, but the difference between the high and low classes seems to have increased, according to the Bureau report for 2011.
“While unemployment eased slightly from 2010 to 2011, the gap between rich and poor increased,” said the report. “The median, or midpoint, household income was $50,054, 1.5 percent lower than 2010 and a second straight annual decline.”
Jackson feels these statistics are too much to ignore.
“With their questions, if you have a debate in Denver, how can you miss semi-automatic weapons in Aurora, which is [near] Denver and Columbine?” Jackson said to Politico. “How can you have a debate in Kentucky and don’t mention poverty?”
According to Politico, Kentucky, home of the Tuesday night’s debate, is the home to the nation’s poorest county in America.
Though he admits omissions, Jackson thought Obama still took charge of Tuesday night's debate.
“Barack was alive and vibrant and he punched and counterpunched,” Jackson said to Politico. “At the end, he pulled a knock-out.”