Monday, November 12, 2012

Lies I've heard recently: $60,000 for each poor family. Right...


   
Recently someone sent me an article from the Weekly Standard claiming the USA spends $60,000 per poor family in the USA.  Some people (i.e., journalists) really need to check out that commandment against bearing false witness, in other words lying.

The facts of the matter are that TANF [Temporary Aid to Needy Families] gives much less than welfare AFDC [Aid to Families with Dependent Children] ever did.  There is no welfare, AFDC, since Clinton "ended welfare as we know it."   A person is only eligible for TANF for five years and then she and her kids are on their own (usually it's the woman who is left to care for the children).

The truth is TANF and food stamps do not add up to more than two thirds of the poverty line, $23,031 for a family of four (http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb12-172.html).

The idea that the USA spends an inordinate sum to aid the poor is bogus.  The entire budget only spends 38% on all Human Resources costs.  AFDC never cost more than 1% of the federal budget.  The military this year will cost 48% of the federal budget (https://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/FY2012piechart-color.pdf ).

Here's the  link to the Weekly Standard story. 


Compare the above to articles blowing the Weekly Standard article out of the water

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/peter-edelman/poverty-social-safety-net_b_1980431.html


http://www.thenation.com/blog/170849/week-poverty-bigfoot-nessie-and-paul-ryan

Here's the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities with all the graphs and facts.
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3700 





Vital Statistics
US poverty (less than $22,314 for a family of four): 46 million people, 15.1 percent of population.
Children in poverty: 16.4 million, 22 percent of all children, including 39 percent of African-American children and 35 percent of Latino children.
Number of poor children receiving cash aid: one in five.
Poverty rate for people in female-headed families: 42 percent.
Single mothers with incomes under $25,000: 50 percent.
Single mothers working: 67 percent.
Deep poverty (less than $11,157 for a family of four): 20.5 million people, 6.7 percent of population. Up from 12.6 million in 2000.
Increase in deep poverty, 1976-2010: doubled—3.3 percent of population to 6.7 percent.
Americans with no income other than food stamps: 6 million, 2 percent of population.
Twice the poverty level (less than $44,628 for a family of four): 103 million people, roughly 1 in 3 Americans.
Families receiving cash assistance, 1996: 68 for every 100 families living in poverty.
Families receiving cash assistance, 2010: 27 for every 100 families living in poverty.
Impact of public policy, 2010: without government assistance, poverty would have been twice as high—nearly 30 percent of population.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/170849/week-poverty-bigfoot-nessie-and-paul-ryan 

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