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In an effort to help tackle issues of poverty pushed to the forefront recently by President Barack Obama, advocates for the poor are urging him to appoint a poverty czar, much like he did for the auto industry, AIDS, and most recently, Ebola, reports The Hill.

Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader, said in a statement shared with The Hill on Monday that “there is no more important time to appoint a poverty czar than now.”

More than 45 million Americans lived below the poverty line last year, the third consecutive year around that level, the report says, citing statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Obama acknowledged last week during a talk at Georgetown University that it was time to address the issue, saying, “I think we can all stipulate that the best antipoverty program is a job,” notes The Hill.

From The Hill:

King, along with others, pushed the idea during the 2008 presidential race. At the time, around of the 40th anniversary of his father’s assassination, he called on those running for president to commit to establishing the position. 

Hillary Clinton, then a senator from New York, announced during her White House campaign that as president she would create the senior spot, adding, “No more excuses, no more whining, but instead a concerted effort.”…

“When the auto industry needed a bail-out we had an auto czar. When just one person in America contracted Ebola, we got an Ebola czar,” former Rep. Andrew Young (D-Ga.), who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and has urged the creation of the position, said in a statement.

What do you think; does America need a poverty czar? The auto czar seems to have helped the car industry. Sound off in the comments.



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