Poverty Is Rising. It Will Keep Rising Unless Congress Acts.

Jason DeParle reports that poverty is on the rise:

After an ambitious expansion of the safety net in the spring saved millions of people from poverty, the aid is now largely exhausted and poverty has returned to levels higher than before the coronavirus crisis, two new studies have found.

Here it is in chart form:

I’m unsure whether to count this as good news or bad. Technically, DeParle is right: poverty levels have risen to above their March level. At the same time, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the poverty rate is still lower than it’s been for all but a few months of the past several years.

It all depends on what happens next. If the poverty rate flattens out at around 11 percent, that would be better than nearly anyone had predicted. But if it keeps going up—as it probably will if Congress fails to pass an aid package—millions of people will be forced into needless suffering. The obvious solution is to pass the damn aid package. There’s not much downside and there’s a ton of upside.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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