Current Government Shutdown Makes Things Worse for the Poor
In September, the Census Bureau released a report titled, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012.” This report presents national data on the current population and examines multi-year trends in income, poverty, and health insurance.
Nationally, not much has changed from 2011 to 2012 with regard to income or poverty and neither has recovered to the levels seen in 2007 (before the recession):
Median household income in 2012 was $51,017, essentially no change from the 2011 median income of $51,100, but still 8.3% lower than 2007; and
The official poverty rate was 15% and there were 46.5 million people in poverty in 2012 with no significant change since 2011. However, the poverty rate was 2.5% higher than in 2007.
Click here for the CBPP statement on the Census Bureau’s Poverty report.
Click here for a chart from CHN that shows “The Great Unshared Recovery.”
As an example of how the shutdown of the federal government could make things worse for the poor, a very real potential effect is that poor families who rely on aid through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program could lose their job training funding and child care subsidies.
Some states rely solely on federal funding for these programs and other do not have enough reserve funding to keep these programs going for more than two weeks.
As of October 4, 2013, due to shutdown, the actual report is not available on the Census Bureau website.
The poverty rate remained unchanged at 15% in 2013.