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To Hannity, Poverty Means Not Living In An Upscale Neighborhood

Reported by Ellen - August 31, 2007 -

Maybe if Sean Hannity had bothered to commemorate the anniversary of Katrina, he might have had a better view from his ivory tower about the nature of poverty. But protected by his millionaire’s enclave on Long Island and his cushy broadcast studios in New York (broken up by rides in his private jets), “Regular Guy Hannity” proclaimed that poor people are doing pretty well in America. But, “if (people) are not doing well, if they’re not living in a neighborhood that they want to be in, we want them to have hope and opportunity to, like I did in my life, to do better in their life.” With video.

Nobody disputed the “growing income gap” that Alan Colmes reported in his introduction to a segment asking how poor are America’s poor, but Robert Rector from the Heritage Foundation, who obviously does not live among the rural poor, made the ludicrous claim that only a small portion of Americans are “chronically” uninsured and that if classified as lacking “food, shelter and clothing” very few Americans would be considered poor. He must not know as many people as I do who put off going to the doctor because they don’t have the money, who eat poorly because nutritious food is more expensive and who are unable to pay their heating bills when the price of natural gas fluctuates too high.

Rector claimed that the majority of uninsured children are upper middle income and that the solution is “tax fairness.” He was either unaware or deliberately overlooking the number of people who are unable to purchase insurance at any cost. Ask anyone with a history of cancer, e.g., who is self-employed or looking to purchase their own insurance whether or not a tax break would help them.

“(Poor people) also don’t work very much,” Rector cavalierly stated. “If they work full time about 75% immediately go out of poverty.” Maybe out of his definition of poverty but there are many working Americans who are just scraping by. I’m sure it was no accident that Rector didn’t mention anything about how the middle class is faring.

Hannithy praised Rector’s “incredible, exhaustive research” and marveled at the “43 % of the so-called poor in America (who) actually own their own homes.” Hannity gushed about their large homes with air conditioning and automobiles.

“The best one is, two thirds of them have satellite or cable TV,” Rector said.

“That’s not that poor… Do we need to put proper perspective here?” Hannity said. Then Hannity proved just what kind of perspective he has by implying that poverty is just a matter of not living in an upscale neighborhood. “We want everybody to be wealthy here, as conservatives, but if they’re not doing well, if they’re not living in a neighborhood that they want to be in, we want them to have hope and opportunity to, like I did in my life, to do better in their life.”