Today’s census numbers remind us that 37.3 million Americans live below the poverty line. That’s a lot of people, and a pretty hefty swathe of our overall population. Most Americans, of course, don’t have a “poverty plan” to change that fact. But most Americans probably do think it’s a problem that so many of our citizens have so few resources, and probably expect that if they were president it’s the kind of thing they’d try to do something to change. But not John McCain! Brian Levine observes that while McCain’s website asserts that he “understands the importance of investing in key industries such as space” it doesn’t say anything about poverty. I would further note that fully eighteen percent of American children are below the poverty line. McCain does claim, now and again, to be interested in improving educational attainment in the United States. But while there are certainly things we can do to improve education outcomes for poor kids, we also have a substantial body of research showing that poor kids would do better in school if they weren’t so poor. This, in turn, links back to our long-run economic performance. So it’d be nice to have some sort of program on these issues.
UPDATE II: Bonus joke — given that McCain only resides in four of his eight homes, holding on to the rest as investment properties, maybe he could let some homeless people live in the remaining four and call it a poverty plan.