Ted Kennedy, Fox News Sunday. I’ve bolded the relevant bit for emphasis but I’ve included his larger comments to illustrate how sure he is of his numbers generally:
WALLACE: You said that welfare reform was a legislative child abuse. “Let them eat cake.” But now, Senator, 10 years later, the employment rate among unmarried women — the employment rate — has soared, and the child poverty rate has dropped.
Hasn’t welfare reform worked?
KENNEDY: No, no. Your figures are wrong in terms of child poverty. Your figures are absolutely wrong.
WALLACE: Well, we got them from the liberal Brookings Institute, sir.
KENNEDY: You’re wrong. We’ve had an increase in the last five years of the number of children that are living in poverty in the United States of America. It’s increased by 1,700,000.
We have 36 million Americans that are going to bed hungry every night — 36 million Americans who are going — and 12 million of those are children. So…
WALLACE: So you don’t think…
KENNEDY: No, I don’t. Listen, I thought — what we saw in that period of time is an expanding economy. What you need in welfare reform is, first of all, you need training programs. You need job opportunities, and you need a day-care. Those are the elements. And you need, basically, transportation for people on it. And you need the expanding economy.
We had the expanding economy, but we still — children were left out. If you look at what’s happening to children in this country, at this present time, you’ll find out the number of children that are hungry and the increased number of children in poverty.
I’m right on the increased number of poverty children. I know this issue. I’ve been debating this issue all during the fall. And we have had that, and we’ve had the total number of people that have fallen back into poverty during this Bush administration. We have 5 million more people that have dropped back into poverty…
Me: Okay, so obesity is a health epidemic, particularly among low income people, but 36 million low income people are going to bed hungry every night. Are they all dieting?