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    The Sneaky Way Three States Are Getting Around a New Food Stamp Reform

    Three states are trying to get around a new minor reform Congress made to the food stamp program. In the farm bill it passed earlier this month, Congress tightened a loophole dubbed “Heat and Eat” that has made it possible for states to artificially boost the amount of food stamp … More

    National Marriage Week: Fight Poverty by Strengthening Marriage

    What’s one of the best ways to ensure a child is protected from poverty? Marriage. As such, it also helps protect families from ending up on welfare. Of the families on welfare in 2011, roughly three-quarters of them were headed by a single parent. Only 7 percent of married families … More

    Why Obama Should Start Using the M-Word

    In a widely publicized interview with President Obama, Bill O’Reilly led his questions with the topic of the nation’s rate of births outside marriage, which have reached an average of 40 percent and have soared to 70 percent among African Americans. Asked why he and the first lady have not … More

    Want to Help the Poor? Repeal Ethanol Mandate, Don’t Raise Minimum Wage

    Many Senators propose raising the minimum wage to reduce poverty. However, minimum-wage increases have no statistically significant effect on poverty rates. Few of the workers who would get raises come from poor families. Worse, higher minimum wages discourage hiring and reduce access to entry-level jobs. Congress should look to effective … More

    How the War on Poverty Was Lost

    On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson used his State of the Union address to announce an ambitious government undertaking. “This administration today, here and now,” he thundered, “declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” Fifty years later, we’re losing that war. Fifteen percent of Americans still live in … More

    Hispanics and the War on Poverty

    Much will be said about 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, about how it has been lost. In fact, the debate on poverty (like the poor themselves) will be with us all year. But it’s important to remember that LBJ’s war coincided with other social upheavals, such as the … More

    The Benefits of Marriage to Low-Income Americans Aren’t Just About the Combined Paycheck

    Is splitting costs such as housing in half the only advantage marriage brings to helping eradicate poverty? Slate’s Matt Yglesias suggested that yesterday, writing, “Marriage ‘lifts’ families out of poverty not by increasing their incomes but by reducing what the federal government assumes their expenses to be. Single people often … More

    Rubio: States, Not Washington, Should Lead Anti-Poverty Programs

    Florida senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) wants to see the states, not Washington, manage more of the programs directed at helping low-income Americans. “I am proposing that we turn Washington’s anti-poverty programs – and the trillions spent on them – over to the states,” the Florida Republican said in a … More

    Pope Francis and America’s Obligations to the Poor

    Americans are a generous and conscientious people, concerned with making sure that no one falls through the cracks and that everyone is given a fair shot at leading a thriving life. This is, perhaps, one reason why Pope Francis’s recent call for all of us to remember our obligations to … More

    Upward Mobility, Equality of Opportunity, and the Family

    Discussions about poverty and upward mobility tend to overlook a growing amount of research arguing that socioeconomic differences in America are often rooted in family structure. They note that, as the stability of the family has steadily deteriorated, parents’ financial situation and their children’s future prospects have eroded. Sadly, as … More