RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I have recounted for you the statistics on poverty in this country as prepared by Robert Rector, who has devoted much of his scholarly life to the purest of examining Census data and analyzing it, codifying it, and putting it in form people can understand. It has always been a shock when I have shared with people what poverty in this country is. It surprises people because of what it isn't.
I've always gotten into trouble every time I have quoted Rector. Every time I've mentioned it, elements of the Drive-By Media react and talk about how heartless and mean-spirited I am toward the poor because I simply report what Rector says, and that is that poverty in this country is not poverty as measured around the world. Well, now, here's another source, and it comes right from the Census Bureau.
This hasn't been analyzed by anybody at Heritage. It's very brief.
"A new report from the Census Bureau found that 80.9% of households considered poverty stricken have cell phones," I don't know how many of 'em are Obama phones, but it doesn't matter. They have them. Eight-one percent of people in poverty "have cell phones along with their landline phones, and 58.2% have computers, 96.1% of those in 'poverty' have televisions, and 83% have some sort of DVR. The percentage owning refrigerators? 97.8%. Gas or electric stoves? 96.6%. Microwaves? 93.2%. Air conditioning? Over 83%."
Over 83% of people who live in poverty have air-conditioning. I wonder what the number is for people who not in poverty. Well, the reason I say that is there are a lot of people in certain parts of the country who don't have air-conditioning but they can afford it because of the climate, and there are people who are not in poverty who can't afford it and don't have it. But 83% of Americans in poverty have air-conditioning. The percentage of Americans living in poverty who have a clothes washer, is 68.7%.
The percentage of Americans living in poverty who have a dryer, 65.3%. The percentage of Americans who live in poverty who use their washer, I don't know. (I just thought I would throw that in.) Only 44.9% had a dishwasher. So they're sacrificing there. People in poverty are washing their own dishes, or almost half of 'em are. So poverty in this country isn't poverty. Everything's relative, but that's not bad. As we say here, you get 99 weeks of unemployment. Ninety million Americans are not working, but they're eating. Ninety million Americans are not working, but they've got their flat screens and they've got their cell phones. (interruption)
Well, that's a good point. That is an excellent point.
The reason why only 45% have a dishwasher is because things like Chicken McNuggets don't come with dishes. How many people do you think take their McNuggets home and put 'em on a plate and grab a knife and a fork, maybe a bottle of wine and a napkin, and sit down? It's not happening. So if you're eating McNuggets or what have you, you don't need plates -- and let's not leave it at McNuggets. Let's include Big Macs in there just to avoid any of the leftist trolls out there