Cafferty File: How Much Will It Hurt Rick Perry That Nearly 1 In 5 Texans Live In Poverty?


From CNN's The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty asks about something that's sure to be an issue if Texas Gov. Rick Perry actually wins the GOP presidential nomination for 2012 -- How much will it hurt Rick Perry that nearly 1 in 5 Texans live in poverty?:

Rick Perry loves to talk about all the jobs he's created in Texas... but that's only part of the story... and a bit misleading at that.

The other part of the Perry story is that nearly 1 in 5 Texans in the state where he is the governor are living below the poverty line; and that the poverty rate is growing faster in Texas than the national average.

CNN Money reports that Texas ranks 6th in terms of people living in poverty.

Both demographic and economic factors play into this high poverty rate - more than half the state are minorities and many Texans have little education. Especially in southern Texas, many families live in shanty housing with no electricity or indoor plumbing. In 2011.

Also, the poor in Texas don't get much help. The state has one of the lowest rates of spending on its citizens per capita; and it has the highest share of those without health insurance.

Relatively few Texans collect food stamps - even though many more qualify for them - and receiving cash assistance is difficult. Experts say part of the reason more people don't seek help is the Texas mentality that you should pick yourself up by your own bootstraps.

For his part, Texas governor Rick Perry says creating jobs is the best way to help his citizens. And it's true that Texas has created 40% of the jobs added in the U.S. in the past two years.

But many of these new jobs are low-paying ones. More than half a million workers in Texas last year were paid at or below the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That's just $15,000 dollars a year for someone working full-time.

Texas has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country... tying with Mississippi at nearly 10%.

With jobs and the economy sure to be the top issue in 2012...

Here’s my question to you: How much will it hurt Rick Perry that nearly one in five Texans are living in poverty?


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