NY Times: Poor People Did Better Under Reagan Than Clinton

Yes, it’s true. In an editorial yesterday, the paper of record wrote:

If the “near poor” feel insecure, they have good reason to. A group of academics found that during the 1980’s, 13 percent of Americans in their 40’s spent a year or more below the poverty line. In the 1990’s, that percentage nearly tripled, reaching 36 percent.

Okay if the NY Times wants to say that poorer Americans were better off under Reagan, but I don’t understand how their declining fortunes during the Clinton years has anything to do with the main point of the editorial–that the Bush economy has been bad for the “near poor.”