The political world obsesses about the middle class because that's where the votes are. But today's release of the annual Census statistics on income, health insurance, and poverty remind us who's struggling the most right now:

The nation's official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008—the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004. There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008—the third consecutive annual increase.

That's one in seven people living in poverty, which for a family of four means living on an annual income of less than $21,954. Surely that is far too many people trying to make it with far too little money.