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Tax Codes and the Least of these

Tax Codes and the Least of these

Salon.com examines how the American welfare system both helped and hurt the neediest Americans during the period 1983-2004.

According to the article:

According to a new study by Robert Moffitt, aid to the poorest single-parent families in this country dropped 35 percent between 1983 and 2004. During that period, reforms substantially cut assistance to those with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty line, while expanding it to those between 50 percent and 100 percent of the poverty line and to those between 100 percent and 200 percent of the poverty line. As a result, these days “a family of four earning $11,925 a year likely [gets] less aid than a same-sized family earning $47,700.”

The article further explains the moral component to this: single parent households have seen their poverty rate rise dramatically, while politicians continue to blame the poverty rate increase on the prevalence of single parent households.

“But the U.S. does not have an especially high percentage of children growing up in single-mother families, and has around the same percentage of single mothers as the countries with the lowest childhood poverty rates in the world.”

All this suggests then, that our ever-increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots is self-induced, and has deeper roots in our country’s ideology than we might like to consider.

Read the whole article here.

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