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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...

Tax Credits for Working Families Help Women Now and Later

March 30, 2012

March is women’s history month and income taxes are due in April.  So it’s a good time to note the difference that tax credits for working families, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), make for women’s economic security.

3-30-12pov.jpg The EITC is enormously successful at file type icon encouraging work and...

Under $2 a Day in America, Part 1

March 5, 2012

Note: This is the first in a series of posts on extreme poverty that CBPP will do this week.

Living on less than $2 per person a day is one World Bank definition of poverty for developing nations.  Unfortunately, this threshold is...

Debunking the “Entitlement Society” Myth

February 10, 2012

Contrary to claims that government benefit programs are creating a dependent class of Americans who are losing the desire to work and would rather collect government benefits than find a job, a major report we issued today finds that these programs’ benefits go overwhelmingly to people who are elderly, disabled, or members of...

Taking Stock of the Safety Net, Part 1: Overview

December 14, 2011

We will issue a series of posts in the coming days that will look back at some of the major programs that helped struggling families during the year — their goals, impact, and issues facing policymakers in 2012.  Today, we’ll begin by setting the context...

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