Thursday, May 03, 2007

End American Poverty in a Generation

From The Nation

"Last Wednesday, at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, the CAP Task Force on Poverty released the results of fourteen months of work in its report, From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half.

"The report offers twelve concrete recommendations to reduce over the next ten years, creating a stronger middle class and setting our country on a course to end American poverty in a generation."

Key highlights of the plan:

1. Over a 10-year period, raise and index the minimum wage to half the average hourly wage--that would presently be $8.40 an hour.

2. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

3. Promote unionization by enacting the Employee Free Choice Act.

4. Guarantee child care assistance to low-income families and promote early education for all.

5. Create 2 million new "opportunity" housing vouchers, and promote equitable development in and around central cities.

6. Connect disadvantaged and disconnected youth with school and work.

7. Simplify and expand Pell Grants and make higher education accessible to residents of each state.

8. Help former prisoners find stable employment and reintegrate into their communities.

9. Ensure equity for low-wage workers in the Unemployment Insurance system.

10. Modernize means-tested benefits programs to develop a coordinated system that helps workers and families.

11. Reduce the high costs of being poor and increase access to financial services.

12. Expand and simplify the Saver's Credit to encourage saving for education, homeownership and retirement.

"The combined cost of the twelve recommendations is approximately $90 billion a year. The current annual costs of the Bush tax cuts (skewed for the wealthy) enacted in 2001 and 2003 are approximately $400 billion. In 2008, the value of tax cuts solely for households exceeding an annual income of $200,000 is projected to be $100 billion."

Read the entire editorial at The Nation.

Thanks to blogger Jon for pointing this out.

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