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Shocking new data from the census shows that 1 in 2 Americans are poor or low-income

"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," [Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty] said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."

Of course, if you ask a conservative think tank what they think about rising inequity and increasing numbers of poor and low-income people, he'll give you a well rehearsed talking point akin to pull-harder-on-your-bootstraps:

"There's no doubt the recession has thrown a lot of people out of work and incomes have fallen," Rector said. "As we come out of recession, it will be important that these programs promote self-sufficiency rather than dependence and encourage people to look for work."

As an aside, that sounds A LOT like a one Rep. Todd Akin's tone deaf remark recently regarding the payroll tax break for working families where he said, "people have to have an incentive to try and find a job, and when those benefits expire, there's a whole lot more pressure to really find something."

For the record, a significant number of those in need of assistance DO have jobs, Mr Rector and Mr Akin:

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