Department of awful statistics

This time the LA Times gets into the mix, claiming that 60 million Americans live on less than $7 a day. Like many awful statistics, this was generated by a sort of Rube Goldberg machine; the LA Times got the figure from a guy with a website, who got it from the World Socialist Workers Website, which took it from an article on reported taxable income in the New York Times. In this case, though, I don't see how this could have happened. The Census bureau is the obvious place that you go to see how many Americans are living on how little income. Random people with websites are not. Not that the Times article is much better; it compares reported taxable income to the poverty line, even though it grudgingly concedes that benefits aren't included, and even though we know that the poor tend to strongly underreport income because reporting income means losing their EITC and health benefits.