Poverty and Income
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s new report on safety net programs and poverty is disappointing. Though it purports to be a balanced, evidence-based review of the safety net, it falls far short of that standard. It’s replete with misleading and selective presentations of data and research, which it uses to portray the safety net in a negative light. It also omits key research and data that point in more positive directions.
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.
- Greenstein Testimony Before House Budget Committee: Poverty and the Safety Net
- War on Poverty: Large Positive Impact, But More Work Remains
- Why Isn't Poverty Falling? Weakening of Unemployment Insurance Is a Pivotal Factor
- Census Data Show Poverty and Inequality Remained High in 2012 and Median Income Was Stagnant, But Fewer Americans Were Uninsured
- Income Inequality Remains at Record High, New Census Figures Show
Building on calls from both sides of the aisle to expand help to low-income childless workers — the sole group of workers that the federal tax code taxes into (and, in many cases, deeper into) poverty — President Obama’s 2015 budget would strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for this left-out group.
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.
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.
March 7, 2014
Revised March 5, 2014
March 4, 2014
Updated January 31, 2014
January 28, 2014
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