Friday, April 02, 2010
Lifting families from poverty. . .
The estimated "poverty line" (based on an antiquated index linked to the cost of food) for a family of four (4) is $21,946.
By applying the benefits of three very equitable, simple and efficient public support programs, such a family can be lifted above that crushing line.
One family member working at a minimum wage job earns $13,391, less payroll taxes--this assumes 2,000 hours of work per year.
By enrolling in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and including the child tax credit, this family rises to 105% ($23,043.30) of poverty and has a much better chance to move ahead.
Finding ways to enroll more families in SNAP is essential to loosening poverty's grip on family life.
The EITC rewards hard work and makes it possible for working families to advance.
A challenge we continue to address is certification difficulties and outreach to inform all who are eligible for the benefits.
Public programs and progressive public policy are essential if we are to achieve real, sustainable progress in overcoming poverty for 40 million Americans.