Rounding Errors

Posted in Around The State at 8:48 am by wcnews

AAS reports on study which shows poverty on the rise in Texas, Texas ranks in bottom 10 states for percentage of children in poverty, link via South Texas Chisme. Here’s the gist:

Texas has a higher percentage of children living in poverty than 41 other states, according to a new study on the well-being of the nation’s children.

Twenty-three percent of the state’s children live in poverty, compared with the national average of 18 percent, says this year’s edition of the annual Kids Count study, expected to be released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private funding and research organization dedicated to vulnerable children. That statewide figure is from 2004, the most recent data available. It’s up from 22 percent in 2000.

Of course the right-wing always has an easy was to explain this away:

But Mary Katherine Stout, director of the Center for Health Care Policy Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, cautioned lawmakers against using year-to-year changes rather than long-term data to craft public policy. She suggested that some of the KIDS COUNT findings — such as the percentage of Texas children living in poverty increasing 1 percentage point — could be explained as rounding errors.

“There has been no meaningful change,” said Stout, whose group supports limited government. “These kind of publications always report bad news as a way of advocating increased spending at both the state and national levels. All reasonable measures show that people are better off today and enjoy a more reasonable standard of living.”

That’s right, there has been no meaningful change and that’s the truly sad part. Even if we accept the “rounding errors” argument that still puts Texas at a 22% poverty rate and in 41st, instead of 42nd place. Wooohooo!! You can read and peruse the whole study here.

If you read down below the AAS article into the comments you can again see what this is all about as far as the wing-nuts are concerned:

FACT: 1 out of every 2 Latina females are pregnant by age 20. This fact is all you need to know about child poverty in Texas. Child poverty will only get worse in our state as long as nothing is done about illegal immigration.


They need to conduct a study of “Texans”, not one that includes illegal immigrants. The numbers would be quite different. As long as we continue to have an influx of illegals, the data will be skewed.

It’s all about the wedge.

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