The Census Bureau reported Thursday that one in seven Americans now falls below the poverty line, with 4.8 million more people joining the ranks of the poor last year.

The grim report noted that 43.6 million people were living in poverty last year, the highest amount since back in 1959, up from 39.8 million in 2008. The poverty line is about $22,000 for a family of four. Not only that, but the poverty rate jumped from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent last year, the highest since 1994.The numbers for this year are likely to be worse.


President Lyndon Johnson waged a “War on Poverty” in the 1960s, but the Great Recession appears to have reversed any victories from that effort. As always, the proportion of those living in poverty is significantly higher for minorities.

Accountants can hopefully provide some help to those in danger of slipping into poverty with prudent financial planning, help with tax preparation, and retirement planning assistance. Those who are already in poverty may not think they can afford to make an appointment to see their CPA, but they can always use some helpful advice from a trusty source.