Today the U.S. Census Bureau released data on the number of impoverished children, families, and individuals in 2009. The news is certainly grim, with 43.6 million people living in poverty. While progressive policies and the Obama administration have been tackling the problem on many fronts it is abundantly clear that more work lies ahead. The Recovery Act was a good starting point, but Congress and the administration need to do more—especially in the weeks that lie ahead.
We’ve compiled a slideshow of examples of lesser-discussed progressive and Obama administration policies that have benefited low-income Americans over the rough economic terrain of the last two years. Some have helped Americans in ways that are not reflected in the poverty numbers—for example, tax breaks and assistance through programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, are not included in income data used to determine one’s level of poverty. Importantly, the policies cited here are only the beginning of what must be a sustained effort.
Folayemi Agbede is the Special Assistant to CAP’s Chief Operating Officer and Joy Moses is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Poverty and Prosperity program at American Progress.
More on poverty from CAP:
- Stretching the Safety Net by Joy Moses
- Penny Wise, Pound Foolish by Harry Holzer
- We Need to Do More to Combat Poverty by Melissa Boteach
- Child Poverty by the Numbers
For more information on programs in the slideshow please see: