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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) listens to testimony during a hearing on
Paul Ryan thinks the second-highest child poverty in the developed world and sequestration are a great start, but there's more to be done.
The United States ranks 34 out of 35 on a UNICEF measure of relative child poverty in developed nations. To be clear, that's 34 out of 35 in the bad way—second highest level, doing better than only Romania with more than 20 percent of children living in a household with an income below half the median.
But the picture looks even worse when you examine just how far below the relative poverty line these children tend to fall. The UNICEF report looks at something it calls the “child poverty gap,” which measures how far the average poor child falls below the relative poverty line. It does this by measuring the gap between the relative poverty line and the average income of poor families.

Alarmingly, the United States also scores second-to-last on this measurement, with the average poor child living in a home that makes 36 percent less than the relative poverty line.

This is the context before the start of sequestration, as Bryce Covert points out. With the full effects of sequestration yet to come, we've already seen kids cut from Head Start programs, less housing assistance available to families struggling to stay off the street, and homeless shelters losing funding among the sequester's effects that will hit poor kids directly.

Of course all of this is just a tiny taste of what Republicans would like to deal out to poor and struggling families through Paul Ryan's Republican budget. That's why Republicans wanted the sequester to happen to begin with, their whining about airports and White House tours notwithstanding.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hunger in America and Daily Kos.

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