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Today, via Twitter, from Representative Jason Smith (r):

Jason Smith ‏@JasonSmithMO

In Dexter last night for Stoddard Co Lincoln Day. Spoke about my work fighting against Obama war on rural America#MO8 [….] 10:44 AM – 2 Mar 2014

Yeah, we know. If this situation was imposed on us by another nation it would be a casus belli:

Editorial: Poverty is not a punch line in Missouri’s 8th District

February 16, 2013 6:15 am  •  By the Editorial Board

….That makes the 8th District the perfect place to look at how America’s commitment to its neighbors has been neglected by those who are in service to the rich.

In terms of median income, children living in poverty, and various health outcomes such as infant mortality that are often directly tied to poverty conditions, Missouri’s 8th District is very much in need of a Robin Hood.

It is the poorest congressional district in Missouri. The pain is spread throughout the southeastern quadrant of the state that makes up the 8th.

Of the 10 counties with the lowest median income in the Show-Me State, all but one are in the 8th.

Shannon County brings up the rear at $26,600 per household, far below the statewide average of $45,000 – which is about $5,000 below the national average.

What does the 8th District get for all that poverty?

Malnourished babies. Abused children. Dead kids.

Texas County, home of the new mean center of the U.S., comes in at 108th out of 115 Missouri counties in terms of child deaths. Mr. Smith’s Dent County ranks just one better.

Infant mortality? Teen deaths? Dropouts?

For as much as Missouri’s rural lawmakers like to talk about poverty as an urban issue, the statistics in their counties, particularly the 8th, are as bad or worse….

….This is the paradox of the modern-day Republican Party in Missouri.

It campaigns against the needs of the very people it represents. Too many of the party’s voters encourage such behavior by demonizing the federal government that they don’t realize is helping to keep them and their children alive….

Oh, wait, it’s not Obama’s war…

From the U.S. Census Bureau (2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates):

Congressional District 8, Missouri

Income and Benefits

(In 2012 inflation-adjusted dollars) Estimate

Total households 289,287

[Income]

Less than $10,000 30,619

$10,000 to $14,999 26,265

$15,000 to 24,999 42,920

$25,000 to $34,999 39,278

$35,000 to $49,999 46,272

$50,000 to $74,999 53,412

$75,000 to $99,999 22,929

$100,000 to $149,999 20,040

$150,000 to $199,999 4,499

$200,000 or more 3,053

Access to health insurance in the 8th Congressional District, from the U.S. Census Bureau (2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates):

Health Insurance Coverage Estimate

Civilian non-institutionalized population 729,868

With health insurance coverage 625,689

With private health insurance 435,651

With public coverage 290,108

No health insurance coverage 104,179

Civilian non-institutionalized population under 18 years 172,506

No health insurance coverage 10,231

[emphasis added]

The poverty level in the 8th Congressional District, from the U.S. Census Bureau (2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates):

Percentage of Families and People whose Income in the Past 12 Months is Below the Poverty Level Estimate

All families 14.4%

With related children under 18 years 23.2%

With related children under 5 years only 23.9%

Married couple families 7.9%

With related children under 18 years 10.6%

With related children under 5 years only 11.3%

Families with female householder, no husband present 40.7%

With related children under 18 years 51.7%

With related children under 5 years only 49.4%

All people 19.7%

Under 18 years 26.8%

Related children under 18 years 26.2%

Related children under 5 years 29.6%

Related children 5 to 17 years 25.1%

18 years and older 17.5%

65 years and older 12.6%

People in families 16.0%

Unrelated individuals 15 years and over 35.7%

Oh, there’s a war all right, just not from Obama.