Poverty and Income

Lone Group Taxed Into Poverty Should Receive a Larger EITC

Policymakers have taken important steps in recent decades to prevent the federal tax code from taxing people into or deeper into poverty. This bipartisan effort has helped shape various features of the tax code including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a tax credit for low- and moderate-income working people. In addition to its other roles, such as serving as a pro-work wage subsidy, the EITC helps keep income and payroll taxes from pushing millions of low-wage workers into poverty.

But the commitment to keep the federal tax code from taxing low-income workers into poverty has fallen far short for one group of 7 million people: childless adults. Read more

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Ryan Plan Gets 69 Percent of Its Budget Cuts From Programs for People With Low or Moderate Incomes

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget cuts $3.3 trillion over ten years (2015-2024) from programs that serve people of limited means. That’s 69 percent of its $4.8 trillion in total non-defense budget cuts. Read more

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Chart Book: The War on Poverty at 50, Overview

As we mark the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's War on Poverty, we should recognize that poverty has fallen significantly over the last half-century when measured using a comprehensive poverty measure, and other troubling poverty-related conditions have declined.

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Basics

The poverty guideline, the federal government’s estimate of a minimum income used in determining eligibility for many federal programs, is $23,550 for a family of four in 2013, $11,490 for a single individual, and $4,020 for each individual person. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, though many states (and some municipalities) have set their own minimum wages at a higher level.

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The Center analyzes major economic developments affecting low- and moderate-income Americans, including trends in poverty, income inequality, and the working poor.  In addition, we analyze the asset rules in various public benefit programs that can discourage low-income people from building modest savings and highlight potential reforms.

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