Poverty and Income
Policymakers have taken important steps in recent decades to prevent the federal tax code from taxing people into or deeper into poverty. This bipartisan effort has helped shape various features of the tax code including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a tax credit for low- and moderate-income working people. In addition to its other roles, such as serving as a pro-work wage subsidy, the EITC helps keep income and payroll taxes from pushing millions of low-wage workers into poverty.
But the commitment to keep the federal tax code from taxing low-income workers into poverty has fallen far short for one group of 7 million people: childless adults. Read more
- Obama Budget Would Extend EITC’s Pro-Work Success to Childless Workers
- Commentary: One Anti-Poverty Initiative Both Sides Can Agree On
- Strengthening the EITC for Childless Workers Would Promote Work and Reduce Poverty
- Commentary: The EITC Works Very Well – But It’s Not a Safety Net by Itself
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget cuts $3.3 trillion over ten years (2015-2024) from programs that serve people of limited means. That’s 69 percent of its $4.8 trillion in total non-defense budget cuts. Read more
- Ryan Budget Gets 69 Percent of Its Cuts from Low-Income Programs
- Ryan Roundup 2014: Everything You Need to Know About Chairman Ryan's Latest Budget
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.
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.
Revised April 17, 2014
Revised April 15, 2014
Effective, Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs in Every State at Risk if Congress Does Not Extend Funding
March 10, 2014
March 4, 2014
Updated January 31, 2014
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