The poor will always be with us, only more so

Mostly lost in all the coverage of the new Census Bureau poverty stats (with unemployment skyrocketing, more people are poor!) is this tidbit from Emily Monea and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution:

Using data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and others about the likely trajectory of the recession, we find that, absent other changes, the poverty rate will increase rapidly through 2011 or 2012, at which point about 14.4 percent of the country will be in poverty, up from 12.5 percent in 2007. As the recession ends and employment levels increase, the poverty rate will begin to steadily decrease though it will not, at least over the next decade or so, reach its 2007 level.”

One reason for the projected continued rapid rise of poverty: The extended unemployment benefits and “Making Work Pay” tax cuts that have helped everyone but the very rich will have expired by then, forcing millions more people below the poverty line. Happy recovery!