Gov. John Kasich claims he wants to help people “living in the shadows,” but new poverty numbers show his rhetoric has not translated into real results.
Kasich’s Real Record Lives In The Shadows
A U.S. Census Bureau report released this week shows that 593,831 children lived in poverty in Ohio in 2014, up from 591,328 children in 2013, according to Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio. The child poverty rate, at 22.9 percent, was virtually unchanged from the previous year . Poverty is defined as an annual household income below $24,418 for a family of four.
With the exception of Columbus, the state capital that has state government and The Ohio State University to serve as modulators, Ohio’s other cities are not growing. As Cleveland.com reported, “In seven Ohio cities, at least one out of every four people live in poverty. And in three cities – Youngstown, Dayton and Cleveland – more than half the children live in poverty”, a black eye for Gov. Kasich who’s had five years to show his policies do what he claims they do.
CDF-Ohio’s Key Findings:
* Ohio’s child poverty rate ranks 36th compared to other states (with a rank of one having the lowest rate of child poverty).
* 11.1% of children in Ohio are in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is defined as an annual household income of less than $12,209 for a family of four. Ohio ranks 39th.
* Children under age 6 are poor at even higher rates than all children. In Ohio, 26.9% of children under age 6 are poor (rank 38th), and 13.2% are in extreme poverty (rank 41st).
Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and children of two or more races are considered poor at much higher rates than White and Asian children. With the exception of Asian children, Ohio ranks 38th or worse on child poverty rates when broken down by race and ethnicity:
White children – 16.5% are in poverty in Ohio, rank 43rd
Black children – 48.4% are in poverty, rank 45th
Hispanic children – 35.4% are in poverty, rank 38th
Asian children – 9.8% are in poverty, rank 12th
American Indian/Alaska Native children – 52.3% are in poverty, rank 38th
Children of two or more races – 37% are in poverty, rank 47th
According to CDF-Ohio, child poverty declined slightly in 2014, from 21.5 percent in 2013 to 21.1 percent in 2014. Child poverty rates declined for Hispanic, White and Asian children, Black children saw an increase and continue to have the highest child poverty rate, the report notes. “Despite some decreases child poverty among all children remains at shamefully high levels. One in five children – 15.5 million – were poor in 2014, and children remain the poorest age group in the country,” the report found.
The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey on health insurance coverage shows 4.8 percent of Ohio children age 0-17 were uninsured in 2014 compared to 5.3 percent in 2013.
“Once again, data show the stark reality that Ohio’s children—and especially children of color– continue to be left behind in the economic recovery,” Renuka Mayadev, Executive Director at the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, said in prepared remarks. “The decrease in the number of uninsured children is a bright spot and shows that together we can take action to benefit our children.”
The Children’s Defense Fund outlined nine policy changes that would reduce child poverty by 60 percent: Increasing employment, making work pay more, and ensuring children’s basic needs are met are the key to reducing child poverty. “Our leaders must make permanent improvements in pro-work tax credits, increase SNAP benefits, strengthen housing subsidies, and expand child care funding for children to assure quality care and help parents work,” CDF noted.