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SNAP (Food Stamps) and Earned Income Tax Credit Had Big Antipoverty Impact in 2011

September 12, 2012

The official poverty figures count only cash income, so they don’t reflect the antipoverty impact of some key safety net programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and SNAP (formerly food stamps).  But the Census data released this morning show that if you count these benefits, the EITC lifted 5.7 million people — including 3 million children — out of poverty in 2011, and SNAP...

A Timely Reminder: Improvements in the Safety Net Have Dampened the Rise in Poverty

September 11, 2012

When the Census Bureau releases its poverty figures for 2011 tomorrow, the official poverty rate could reach its highest point since 1965, as I discussed earlier this year.  Although private-sector employment improved in 2011, other factors that affect the poverty...

Looking Ahead to Next Week’s Poverty Figures

September 7, 2012

We won’t know the official poverty figures for 2011 until next Wednesday, but the most current Census data available show that a decline in unemployment insurance (UI) payments and large public-sector layoffs put upward pressure...

Long-Term Agenda Needed for Fighting Poverty

August 9, 2012

I laid out some short-term steps earlier this week that we could take to lower poverty.  In this post, I take a look at what we should do over the longer term.

Four key points:

First, poverty was growing even before the Great Recession. Poverty rose...

Fight Poverty, Protect the Safety Net

August 6, 2012

The official poverty rate was high (15.1 percent) in 2010, and when the Census Bureau releases new numbers for 2011 next month, that figure may climb still higher — due in part to declines in unemployment...

Poverty Rate Would Nearly Double Without the Safety Net

July 30, 2012

As Georgetown University’s Peter Edelman explained in yesterday’s New York Times, the serious hurdles that this nation faces in ending poverty shouldn’t obscure our real achievements in this area over recent decades.  He cites a CBPP estimate...

Official Poverty Measure Ignores Key Improvements in the Safety Net Since the 1960s

July 26, 2012

A recent Associated Press article suggested that when the Census Bureau releases its poverty figures for 2011 this fall, the official poverty rate could reach its highest point since 1965.  In a narrow sense, that’s...

2009 Recovery Act Strikingly Effective at Keeping People Out of Poverty

May 31, 2012

We are presenting evidence today at the Department of Health and Human Services’ annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference that, when it comes to keeping people out of poverty, the 2009 Recovery Act was probably the most effective piece of legislation since the 1935 Social Security Act.  As we first described in a...

After Welfare Reform, the Poorest Families Had More Trouble Paying Bills

May 22, 2012

We have noted evidence of a disturbing trend:  growth in the number and percentage of Americans living on less than $2 a day — a type of extreme poverty that, until now, has been associated only with poor nations.

The University of Michigan’s Luke Shaefer, one of the authors of the...

House Votes to Eliminate Local Data

May 11, 2012

Republicans in the House inexplicably voted this week to defund the American Community Survey (ACS), the nation's main source of state and local data on affordable housing, household income, poverty, race, state-to-state migration, immigration, education level of the workforce, types of disabilities of local residents, and scores of other major topics.

The federal government uses the...

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