Lifitng Millions of Americans Out of Poverty

Check out the following Off the Charts blog post from Arloc Sherman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. At a time when the U.S. House is advocating deep cuts to food assistance and other programs that help struggling families stay afloat, it is important to recognize just how much public safety net programs have helped keep people out of poverty in the United States.

A House Budget Committee hearing tomorrow will examine the progress we’ve made in fighting poverty over the last 50 years. Extensive research shows that the set of supports the United States has developed to help low-income Americans make ends meet and obtain health care do, in fact, lift millions of people out of poverty, help “make work pay” by supplementing low wages, and enable millions of Americans to receive health care who otherwise could not afford it, as we explain in a new paper.

Federal assistance lifts millions of people, including children, out of poverty and provides access to affordable health care. Public programs lifted 40 million people out of poverty in 2011, including almost 9 million children, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which counts non-cash benefits and taxes (see chart).
CBPP: Poverty Rate Would Have Been Nearly Twice as High in 2011 Without Safety Net

 Read Arloc's full blog post here.

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