Friday, May 10, 2019

Trump going to penalize those on poverty line even more

The "great humanitarian" is "considering changing the way the government measures poverty." According to anti-poverty groups it could "push many low-income individuals off assistance programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start." That starts the report by NPR and it only gets worse. Arloc Sherman of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says...
"this change would mean that millions of people eventually could see their benefits either reduced or eliminated because they wouldn't be considered as poor as they were under the old measure."
Sherman continued...
"'They [the Trump administration] have a goal, and the goal is to cut people of low or moderate income off of government assistance.' He noted that the idea is being floated at the same time that the White House is proposing work requirements and steep budget cuts for safety net programs."
A notice of the possibility of changing the poverty calculation appeared in the Federal Register seeking public comment. NPR reports: "The current poverty line for a family of four is about $26,000. Each year, the government adjusts the line for inflation based on the consumer price index." An alternative being considered...
"is whether to use a version called the 'chained CPI,' which is lower than the rate currently used. The chained CPI assumes that as the prices of goods go up, individuals substitute less expensive items, thereby reducing their overall expenses."
Although both George W. Bush and Barack Obama tried to sell this approach, which economist do think is "a more accurate way to measure inflation," apparently they were never able to get it passed. And even though the bill is very controversial among anti-poverty forces, some say it is imperative to measure inflation correctly. On the other hand, homelessness, which is often caused by those at the poverty level losing what little help they get, goes up.

In Arizona's Maricopa county where I live, Phoenix residents have reported 1,500 homeless encampments, revealing that there are 6,614 people homeless, up 316 from last year. The local paper says...
"Unsheltered homelessness used to be a small percentage of the overall homeless population. In 2014, it made up 22 percent of the population. This year, it's nearly 50 percent."
One might ask, is this increase due to the effects of the policies of the Donald Trump administration? And now he wants to take away more from this group? 

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