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Emily Lieberman November 24 2004 Soc 250 American Mothers Living in Poverty Welfare reform in the United States has been hailed as a great success In an analysis prepared by the Clinton administrations office of Management and Budget it was found that single mothers living in the poorest forty percent of US household incomes received a total of 4 billion less in welfare income in 1997 than in 1993 after making an adjustment for inflation Figures quoted said that earned income amongst this group increased by 43 billion and they also received an additional 21 billion increase from the earned tax credit Haskins 1999 These figures sound very good but the fact still remains that a multitude of American women are still living on or below the national poverty line In this paper I will challenge the argument that the welfare reform initiative is working and instead suggest that according to credible sources women are in fact penalized by the very system that has been put in place to help them The United States Census bureau shows how the poverty threshold is calculated each year This figure is a dollar amount that the department has determined is whats required for a number of people living together The two main characteristics of the threshold formula are the size of a family unit and the ages of the family members These thresholds are used throughout the United States and have no provision for variation due to geographical location The annual Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers provides the inflation adjustment figures in this equation According to the Census Bureau although the thresholds in some sense reflect families needs they are intended for use as a statistical yardstick not as a complete description of what people and families need to liveFigures on Poverty The Department notes that other government aid programs and the Department of Health services use different measures of what could be considered
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