September 13, 2017 under Posts

FPWA Releases Statement on National Poverty Rate

While the poverty rate has declined to 12.7 percent signaling, in general, movement in the right direction, 40.6 million Americans still live in poverty, and some, like seniors, are actually experiencing a rise in poverty. 

The good news is that we have climbed out of the Great recession, unemployment has dropped while income coming into households has increased, and the percentage of people without health insurance is down. The continuing bad news, however, is that wages in many localities and states still are not high enough to meet the basic cost of living; the price and access to education continues to be a challenge for the poor; and we have a proposed budget that threatens to cut key federal programs that provide critical supports to the more than 40 million struggling every day to make ends meet.

There is much work that needs to be done. We cannot afford to jeopardize tax credits or safety net programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Social Security, Medicaid, and housing assistance that sustain low-income families. Now is not the time to start cutting federal programs for our most vulnerable populations as the Trump Administration and the GOP led Congress has proposed, but rather to continue investing in the programs and supports that build opportunity for all.