Is Enough Done for the Poor?

"Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states,
even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13
states it pays more than $15 per hour." Source 2013 CATO Institute Study

Economic Policy Institute claims Cato "distorts" the facts.
Editors Note: The truth is not important to Cato, EPI,
and politicians because all are supported by donations.

Poverty Basics
Thresholds are for determining official poverty statistics.
are for determining eligibility for means-tested federal programs.

2014 Federal Thresholds 

2015 Federal Guidelines

Persons     Persons  48 States


          1 $11,770


  2 15,930
3   18,518   3 20,090
4   24,418   4 24,250
5   29,447   5 28,410
6   33,869   6 32,570
7   38,971   7 36,730
8   43,586   8 40,890
>8 Add about $500 for
each family in group

additional person
$ 4,160


GDP Grew, Helping the Poor Grew More

See Government Defined Poverty

Poverty Spending

Poverty Inc questions the efficiency of poverty management 1.06 video

Means Tested Welfare Programs from CBO is a must .

The Needs of the Working Poor from Economic Progressive Institute

Who Gets Nebraska
Federal and State Benefits

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility for a family of four.

In Nebraska multiply is 130% to get eligibility unless elderly/disabled person then 165%

Eligibility = 130% x 22 = $31,125

Income less than $31,125 for a family of four qualifies for Snap or Max is $649.00/month     Source

 Other Nebraska Programs
AABD (Ass.-Aged, Blind, or Disabled)
ADC (Aid to Dependent Children)
Cancer Drug Repository Program
Child Care Support (Subsidy)
Child Support Enforcement
CSFP (Com. Sup. Food Program)
EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer)
Emergency Assistance
Employment First
Energy Assistance
Every Woman Matters
Financial Services Administration
Food Distribution Program
In-home Services (SSBG)
CHIP (Children's Health Insurance)
Medicaid / Medicare
SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
WIC (Women, Infants & Children





Growth in Means-Tested Federal Poverty Program

Author's Comments will be in red.

Good luck with coming up with an answer. We know what Joe Six-Pack watches on TV but not how well he lives. A stratified random sample of those on a few programs by the GAO or the CBO please.

Massachusetts did a study but I didn't keep it.

The federal government devotes roughly one-sixth of its spending to 10 major means-tested programs and tax credits, which provide cash payments or assistance in obtaining health care, food, housing, or education to people with relatively low income or few assets. Those programs and credits consist of the following:
  • Medicaid,
  • The low-income subsidy (LIS) for Part D of Medicare (the part of Medicare that provides prescription drug benefits),
  • The refundable portion of the earned income tax credit (EITC),
  • The refundable portion of the child tax credit (CTC),
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp program),
  • Child nutrition programs,
  • Housing assistance programs, and
  • The Federal Pell Grant Program.

As shown in this report and an accompanying infographic, in 2012, federal spending on those programs and tax credits totaled $588 billion. (Certain larger federal benefit programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, are not considered means-tested programs because they are not limited to people with specific amounts of income or assets.)

Total federal spending on those 10 programs (adjusted to exclude the effects of inflation) rose more than tenfold—or by an average of about 6 percent a year—in the four decades since 1972 (when only half of the programs existed). As a share of the economy, federal spending on those programs grew from 1 percent to almost 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over that period. (For ease of presentation, this report frequently uses the term “programs” to encompass both the spending programs and the tax credits.