The Bible clearly speaks of the obligations of those who are materially blessed to help those without food, clothing, shelter, or medical help. But are middle-class folks required to give upgrades to people who already have all of that?

The United States does have some truly poor people, but when we expand the number of “the poor” as the latest Census Bureau poverty statistics do, we expand cynicism and a reluctance to help—and that hurts the truly poor.

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is probably the nation’s leading expert on welfare. He has persevered for over two decades in the generally thankless job of blowing the whistle on poverty industry propagandists. Rector criticizes the Census Bureau’s claims that one-in-seven Americans is poor, and says Washington enormously overstates the poverty number.

He recently looked at living conditions of those defined as poor, and then reported this:

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