We’ve moved from 14.7% poverty rate in 1966 to a 13.3% poverty rate in 1997 (5th year of Clinton) to a 12.6% poverty rate in 2005 (5th year of Bush).
Trends of poverty are interesting:
In the past, the poverty rate and number of people in poverty have gone up during and slightly after a recession.
Poverty level for 2005 (5th year of Bush) is $15,577 for a family of 3 and $26,683 for a family of 6
Poverty level for 1997 (5th year of Clinton) is $12,802 for a family of 3 and $21,886 for a family of 6
That means you could be earning $3,000 to $5,000 more in 2005 than 1997 and still be considered to be in poverty, yet the poverty rate in the 5th year of Bush is lower than the 5th year of Clinton.
BTW: Neither Bush nor Clinton control the economy as no president has "control" of the American economy. Otherwise they'd make it strong every year and get reelected. The American economy is complex. It could go into a recession simply because 10% of the people feel that a recession is coming and start spending less. Tax rate increases negatively affect the economy, tax rate decreases positively affect the economy. Spending increases positively affect the economy, spending decreases negatively affect the economy. Interest rates have a role also. Tax rates and spending can remain the same and also there is a business cycle - that is the American people's feelings change economic growth.