September 7, 2011; Source: New York Times | The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Book has been released and the news is not good:

  • In 2009, about 2.4 million more children’s families lived below the poverty line than in 2000, an increase of 18 percent.
  • In 2010, nearly 11 percent of the nation’s children, or 7.8 million children, had at least one parent who was unemployed. That’s twice as many as in 2007.
  • At least 5.3 million children have been affected by home foreclosures since 2007.

Michigan, hard-hit by the weak manufacturing economy, is dealing with large budget deficits by slashing benefits for the poor. A tax credit for low-income families was cut by 68 percent, with the average benefit dropping from $432 to $138. In addition, time limits on unemployment benefits are being shortened, and 11,000 low-income families are losing all of their state assistance.

Casey President Patrick McCarthy told the New York Times, “We clearly recognize that states have huge deficits they’re dealing with, but all of these things add up in certain states to very little safety-net protection for children.”—Chris Hartman