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11/21/01: US Poverty Trends

 

Discussion: The poverty for the elderly in the US is now less than that of the population as a whole. Child Poverty hit its low in 1969.  In 1971, 2 and 3, Congress dramatically increased Social Security benefits, created the Supplemental Security Income program, and put the benefits both on annual cost of living adjustments.  At the same time Congress voted down the Nixon administration's Family Assistance Plan (SSI was the only part of it that survived) that would have substantially reformed AFDC.  The lesson?  Children don't vote.

Question: The US Poverty Rate is based on the count of persons living in families whose income falls below the federal poverty line.  What effect does the fact that Food Stamps and public housing benefits are not counted as income in determining whether or not a family is poor have on the child-elderly comparison?