The safety net worked. While official poverty rates -- which exclude much of the value of the safety net -- increased from 12.5 percent to 15 percent, 2007-11, the alternative measure, though higher at a point in time (accurately measured, there are more poor people than the official measure reveals), was essentially unchanged. That's right -- the deepest recession since the Great Depression and poverty didn't go up, at least not when you measure it correctly. I'm not saying we don't have work to do when it comes to a functional, efficient government sector... there's a whole lot to improve. But folks really need to look at these issues with open eyes, minds, and non-jerking knees. You might be pleasantly surprised.