Land Of Lost Opportunity: New Data Shows The Reality

WASHINGTON – Campaign for America’s Future Co-director Robert Borosage today said that President Bush’s policies created lost opportunities for working people, while keeping the highest number of people on record in extreme poverty.

“The Republican convention sings the song of opportunity, but the administration’s policies are shutting doors on working people across the country,” said Borosage. “Wages aren’t keeping up with prices. Millions more have lost health insurance. The jobs that are being created offer less pay and fewer benefits than those that are being lost. Older Americans are having to extend their work life. And Bush’s policies make things worse, not better.”

The number of people in extreme poverty (those with incomes less than half the poverty line) grew in 2003 by 1.2 million people, the highest level of people living in extreme poverty on record, according to recent data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The research shows that the share of national income going to the bottom fifth of households was the lowest on record.

“It is harder to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when the White House is standing on your neck,” continued Borosage. “The president opposes raising the minimum wage and extending it to more workers. His massive tax breaks for millionaires left out low-wage workers, and contributed to the state budget crisis that forced cuts in health and support services for the poor.”

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**NOTE: Media representative interested in scheduling an interview should contact Jon Romano by mobile phone at 917-558-0162 or romano@ourfuture.org. For more information about the Campaign for America’s Future and its Take Back America campaign, please contact the group’s communications director, Toby Chaudhuri at chaudhuri@ourfuture.org.**