Declaring on the October 18 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show that the "economy's very good," Bill O'Reilly claimed that "here at home, people have a very high standard of living" because "[e]ven the poor have color television sets and pretty much everything they need." In 2005, the Census Bureau reported that the poverty rate stabilized at 12.6 percent after four consecutive years of increases, up from the "recent low of 11.3 percent in 2000." According to Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, of the approximately 73 million children in the United States in 2005, more than 28 million, or 39 percent, live in low-income families.
As Media Matters for America has noted, conservatives have previously cited the number of TV sets poor families purportedly own to question the statistic that "one out of five American kids live in poverty."
From the October 18 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: The -- the one thing that's changed in two years since President Bush was re-elected is Iraq. The economy's very good. Very good. Now, I know people are insecure, but if you look at the numbers, they're very good. The nation itself is grappling with problems very complicated, but, you know, we're not sinking. Here at home, people have a very high standard of living. Even the poor have color television sets and pretty much everything they need. So it's all about Iraq.