By Elise Gould
Government programs can effectively reduce poverty among children in the United States. Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—a more comprehensive measure of economic security than traditional poverty thresholds—the figure below illustrates the strength of the government to mitigate the incidence of poverty.
Refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, kept 6.3 percent, or 4.7 million children above the SPM poverty threshold. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as food stamps, kept 2.9 percent, or nearly 2.2 million children out of poverty. Other programs such as Social Security, housing subsidies, unemployment insurance, and school lunch programs have significant positive impacts on the lives of children.
Proposals to cut SNAP, or other valuable government programs, will put children at risk and could cause millions to fall into poverty.