1.04.2010

Recovery Act Keeping 6 Million From Poverty; Reducing Severity of Poverty for 33 Million

New data shows the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is keeping more 6 million Americans from entering poverty while at the same time is reducing "the severity of poverty for 33 million more."

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

While the recession is expected to drive states’ poverty rates up for 2009, new analysis based on Census data shows that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is keeping large numbers of Americans out of poverty in states across the country. In addition to boosting economic activity and preserving or creating jobs, the recovery act is softening the recession’s impact on poverty by directly lifting family incomes.

The Center’s analysis, which covers 36 states and the District of Columbia, examines the effect on poverty of seven ARRA provisions: the expansion of three tax credits for working families, two provisions that strengthen unemployment insurance assistance, a provision that boosts food stamp benefits, and a one-time payment for retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities. Nationally, these provisions are keeping more than 6 million Americans out of poverty and reducing the severity of poverty for 33 million more. (These figures include both people whom ARRA has lifted out of poverty and people whom ARRA has kept from falling into poverty.)

These estimates are conservative. The seven provisions examined cover only about one-fourth of the recovery act’s total spending. The remainder of the act contains an array of provisions that also have an effect on poverty either through direct job creation or through increased spending (on areas such as education, health care, and housing) that leads to more consumer demand in the economy, which in turn preserves or creates jobs [...]

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