Changing the discussion on poverty

(Sep. 17) – Ask many conservatives about fighting poverty and they will tell you we need to cut the safety net and boost growth. Ask many liberals about fighting poverty and they will tell you we have not spent enough and the tax code should be used to shift wealth to the needy. Both miss the boat.

America’s Poverty Problem Hasn’t Changed

(Sep. 16) – On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released its latest data on income and poverty for the country, and despite a falling unemployment rate and a rising GDP—two promising macroeconomic signs—things haven’t improved all that much for American families in the past year.

Who’s in Poverty? The Census Bureau’s Getting Better at Telling Us

(Sep. 15) – When the Census Bureau releases its 2014 report on household income tomorrow, it will include two different definitions of poverty for the first time. The official definition has changed little since its adoption 50 years ago, when its threshold was set as cash income equal to three times what a frugal family spent on food. A relatively new unofficial rate is based on a much wider definition of income, including the earned-income tax credit and noncash subsidies for housing, school lunch and home heating. It also adjusts income for taxes, child care, health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs. The unofficial rate also reflects regional costs of living with different thresholds for renters and people with mortgages.