It's this kind of news that makes me distrust the religious right. Why, on the political front, are they most visible in cost-free solutions to controversial issues (such as gay rights and women's rights), but are not visible in a most fundamental issue for religion: poverty? (And, of course, this terrible news reflects yet another failure of the Republican Party.) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070225/ts_alt_afp/useconomypoverty;_ylt=AuSQnwzP4gS5s5Pml4B1x6cDW7oF WASHINGTON (AFP) - The gulf between rich and poor in the United States is yawning wider than ever, and the number of extremely impoverished is at a three-decade high, a report out Saturday found. Based on the latest available US census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16 million Americans live in "deep or severe poverty" defined as a family of four with two children earning less than 9,903 dollars -- one half the federal poverty line figure. For individuals the "deep poverty" threshold was an income under 5,080 dollars a year. "The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005," the US newspaper chain reported.