Is this what decline looks like? According to new supplemental data from the Census Bureau, nearly half of Americans—a shocking record number—have fallen under the poverty line or are classified as "low income" and barely scraping by. Many in the middle class have dropped to the low-income threshold, meaning they make less than $45,000 for a family of four, because of pay cuts or spouses losing jobs. They number 97.3 million, and together with the 49.1 million in poverty, they represent about 48 percent of the U.S. population, or 146.4 million. That's up by 4 million from 2009 numbers.