Connecting the dots, I concluded:
So, things are very good and getting better for those at the very top. Meanwhile, extreme poverty has increased significantly at the very bottom. The block-granting of cash assistance in TANF [in the 1996 welfare reform law, which has led to a sharp drop in TANF benefits] appears to be an important factor contributing to the rise in extreme poverty, although SNAP [food stamp] benefits have filled some of the gap.
Doesn't that make you wonder about the priorities of policymakers who block every effort to restore tax rates at the top to the levels that prevailed in the very strong 1990s economic expansion, while they argue for policies that weaken the safety net by replicating TANF and turning effective programs like SNAP into block grants?