When looking at GP's numbers, remember, the Clinton economy was supposed to be stronger the the economy under Bush (at least so say some Democrats).
GP also points to a Heritage Foundation fact sheet: The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
- Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
- Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
- Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
- The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
- Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
- Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
- Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
- Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
But GP's figures are suspect to start with. The economy in the Clinton years went from a high poverty rate of 15.1 percent in 1993 to a low of 11.3 in 2000 and showed a steady decline over the course of his administration. President G.W. Bush had a low of 11.7 in 2001 and a high of 12.7 in 2004. Yes the averages look better for Bush than Clinton, but averages are very, very misleading.
Now all this assumes that a President and their policies have any effect on the poverty rate, a suspect proposition in itself. Certainly teh booming economy in the late 1900's lowered teh proverty rate, just as the economic downturn immediately following 9/11 adversely impacted the rate.