Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Poverty Almost Absent as Election Issue

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Poverty Almost Absent as Election Issue

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- America has 46.7 million people living in poverty, but there's been little talk on the presidential campaign trail about the needs of poor people.

No doubt, poverty is a tough sell in a campaign where middle-class votes --both blue-collar and white-collar--are important to success come Election Day Nov. 8.

But economic difficulties are fueling much of the voter angst, and Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are attempting to tap into that uncertainty by portraying their economic policies as what will lead to massive numbers of well-paying jobs.

"Poverty is an issue in the campaign. It's just not being talked about," said Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. "It's certainly driving a lot of the things in the campaign. It's certainly driving a lot of the anger. But we don't see on either side really any substantive policy proposal."

While poverty is not on the lips of the candidates, it would seem that some of their proposals are directed toward improving economic opportunity for the working classes and perhaps helping poor people as well.

Trump's proposals focus on reducing income taxes across the board and making it easier for companies to hire, invest in infrastructure and boost production. He has complained that businesses operate under too many restrictive regulations and promised that his administration would undertake a systematic review of those regulations and eliminate any that hinder business activity

The Republican's plan is light on particulars when it comes to social policy, education and supports for low-income families, particularly the extreme poor. …

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