THEY'VE DONE THIS ALL BEFORE....LOOK AT REAGAN!!
VOTE YOUR THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRAT OUT OF OFFICE!!! RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!
You don't hear corporate media or MSNBC telling you that Obama has placed in his budget what is a required payroll withdraw of 3% to be placed in an IRA as retirement savings. Republicans have been trying to do this for decades to end Social Security and place all the Trusts in the stock market. What this does, as with Affordable Care Act, it encourages companies that do offer retirement packages to end their obligated contribution and just allow the worker's money be taken from the pay check. It is the same as health systems that will insure people leading to companies dropping health benefits. IT IS ALL DESIGNED TO GET CORPORATIONS OUT OF ALL BENEFIT OBLIGATIONS AND HAVE WORKERS PAY IT ALL.....even as wages are so low as to make that impossible.
The most worrying aspect is that this is not just an additional retirement fund.....it is being built to take the place of the Social Security Trust. Remember, Wall Street feeds on these retirement/pension funds but cannot get at the Trusts....unless pols raid them and hand it to the banks which also happens.
I want to emphasize that there is a second piece to this IRA legislation that makes it seem as though it is a 'making the rich pay' plan. Capping the size of these IRA accounts would be good as the rich have used them as estate planning holding all their money tax free. Guess what? Dynasty accounts are now being used that set up these estate planning shell accounts and send them offshore.....the cap on the IRA is fluff!!!
Breaking Down the Obama IRA
Tucked into President Obama's financial regulatory reform legislation still being debated in Congress is a proposal to get more workers saving for retirement. The plan calls for employers to set up mandatory automatic-enrollment IRAs, retirement accounts that allow for tax-deductible contributions.
If the measure passes, companies that don't currently offer a tax-deferred retirement-savings plan would funnel employee contributions into IRA accounts through direct payroll deposits. It would also represent the biggest increase in new retirement savers since the creation of the 401(k) in 1980.
Still, for as long as it's been, the concept is hardly new. Some form of automatic retirement savings has been kicking around the legislature for a couple of years. The model's roots are in the science of behavioral finance, a field whose findings routinely suggest that people tend to put off doing what they know they should do. For example, rather than choosing a retirement fund from the myriad options available – a daunting task – many people do nothing. They become victims of their own inertia and ultimately come up short when they retire. The Obama initiative is meant to make decisions on workers' behalf.
Reuters President Barack Obama
Early estimates predict that the plan could direct roughly $100 billion into IRAs over five years and give some of the 75 million workers who don't have access to an employer plan an opportunity to save, says David John, one of the plan's designers, the principal of The Retirement Security Project and a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. John says he hopes to have a draft of the legislation introduced to Congress within a month.
Many of the details about the automatic IRA have yet to be fleshed out, but here's a look at how it would work and some of the early benefits and drawbacks.
How it would workCompanies that don't currently offer a retirement plan, employ 10 or more workers, and have been in business for at least two years would be required to enroll their employees in an IRA. The accounts would automatically deduct money from employees' paychecks starting with a default deduction of 3%. Employees can choose a higher or lower withdrawal rate or opt out of the plan altogether.
The default IRA portfolio would likely include a basket of conservative holdings. Those assets include I bonds (inflation-indexed savings bonds), money-market mutual funds or stable value funds, John says. "The goal here is to build up a certain amount, say $3,000 to $5,000," he says, at which point the account would automatically roll over and new contributions would go into a target-date fund, a popular 401(k) investment option. Workers would retain control over their accounts, but the plan would make adjustments over time -- even if the workers did nothing.
Pros More companies will cover workers. If passed, the legislation would cover roughly 40 million of the 75 million workers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, John says. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group for small businesses, estimates that 27% of small businesses with fewer than 250 employees do not offer a retirement plan. For businesses with 10 to 19 employees, that number jumps to 50%.
Improved retirement prospects. Any measure to nudge workers into saving for retirement is a positive one, says Brigitte Madrian, a professor of public policy and corporate management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Data from automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans suggest this plan would broadly lift employee savings rates. Nearly 5% of workers with 401(k) plans dropped out in 2008, but the participation rate remained flat that year at 74% as many new hires were automatically enrolled in comparable plans, according to a May report by Hewitt Associates, a human resources and outsourcing consultancy that studied more than 2.7 employees who were eligible for 401(k) plans during the last few months of 2008.
Cons Pushback from small businesses. Small businesses stand to be impacted the most by this reform. Their biggest concern: the administrative burden associated with these plans. Many small businesses don't have in-house human resource departments, and a proposal like this would require some owners to hire an accountant or third-party payroll service to handle the new IRAs. "It's a new expense," says Bill Rys, a spokesman for NFIB.
John says the costs imposed on businesses would be minimal and would depend on how they process their payrolls. If a business uses an automatic payroll service provider like ADP, the cost could be as low as $6 to $8 per payroll period, he says. Initially, the IRA mandate would affect only firms with more than 10 employees, he says. Later, once the details are ironed out and businesses and officials watch the plan underway, the threshold could be lowered.
Not aggressive enough. Given the market turbulence that has washed out millions of Americans' 401(k)s over the past year, the conservative investment approach pegged for the automatic IRAs is understandable. However, caution might not be the best investing tactic, especially for younger workers who have a longer-term horizon. "I'd be more in favor of getting more aggressive investments in there sooner rather than later," particularly for younger employees, says Ron Rough, the director of portfolio management at Financial Services Advisory, an investment advisory firm in Rockville, Md. "I think if you're dollar-cost averaging into your portfolio, you want to take advantage of market volatility."
A more stock-heavy investment option might eventually become available, John says.
In this debate about Social Security and entitlements we are having Third Way corporate democrats always telling us there isn't enough money in the Trusts to do what these Trusts are to do.....thus the need to 'fix' them. Remember, Third Way Clinton is just a Reagan Liberal.....same deal only he wanted to capture the democratic party so he ran as a democrat. That is why we have corporate rule today. Reagan is worshipped by Third Way for balancing the budget while the economy expanded. What this article shows is that Reagan cut taxes on the rich from 70% down to the ridiculously low rate we have today....Bush did lower it a bit more. So you have all that money that should have been coming to government coffers being spent. We know the 'trickling down' that made all this OK never happened. What people don't understand is that he greatly increased payroll taxes.....tripled them.....under the guise that the funds would not have enough funds.....and he made independent workers responsible for both the business and worker contribution. ALL THAT MONEY NEVER MADE IT TO THE TRUST FUNDS.....IT WAS SENT TO THE TREASURY AND SPENT. SO HE LOOKED AS THOUGH HE WAS 'FIXING' THE TRUSTS WHILE HE WAS SPENDING ALL THE MONEY COMING IN.....GIVING IT BACK TO CORPORATIONS.
This is what they are doing now for the same reasons. They raised payroll tax rates....they are lowering SS with chain CPI and they are still using this money for bank bailouts.
How Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan Pulled off the Greatest Fraud Ever Perpetrated against the American People
by Allen W. Smith / April 14th, 2010
David Leonhardt’s article, “Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer,” in Tuesday’s New York Times was excellent, but it just scratches the tip of the iceberg of how the rich have gained at the expense of the working class during the past three decades. When Ronald Reagan became President in 1981, he abandoned the traditional economic policies, under which the United States had operated for the previous 40 years, and launched the nation in a dangerous new direction. As Newsweek magazine put it in its March 2, 1981 issue, “Reagan thus gambled the future — his own, his party’s, and in some measure the nation’s—on a perilous and largely untested new course called supply-side economics.”
Essentially, Reagan switched the federal government from what he critically called, a “tax and spend” policy, to a “borrow and spend” policy, where the government continued its heavy spending, but used borrowed money instead of tax revenue to pay the bills. The results were catastrophic. Although it had taken the United States more than 200 years to accumulate the first $1 trillion of national debt, it took only five years under Reagan to add the second one trillion dollars to the debt. By the end of the 12 years of the Reagan-Bush administrations, the national debt had quadrupled to $4 trillion!
Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan pulled off one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated against the American people in the history of this great nation, and the underlying scam is still alive and well, more than a quarter century later. It represents the very foundation upon which the economic malpractice that led the nation to the great economic collapse of 2008 was built. Ronald Reagan was a cunning politician, but he didn’t know much about economics. Alan Greenspan was an economist, who had no reluctance to work with a politician on a plan that would further the cause of the right-wing goals that both he and President Reagan shared.
Both Reagan and Greenspan saw big government as an evil, and they saw big business as a virtue. They both had despised the progressive policies of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson, and they wanted to turn back the pages of time. They came up with the perfect strategy for the redistribution of income and wealth from the working class to the rich. Since we don’t know the nature of the private conversations that took place between Reagan and Greenspan, as well as between their aides, we cannot be sure whether the events that would follow over the next three decades were specifically planned by Reagan and Greenspan, or whether they were just the natural result of the actions the two men played such a big role in. Either way, both Reagan and Greenspan are revered by most conservatives and hated by most liberals.
If Reagan had campaigned for the presidency by promising big tax cuts for the rich and pledging to make up for the lost revenue by imposing substantial tax increases on the working class, he would probably not have been elected. But that is exactly what Reagan did, with the help of Alan Greenspan. Consider the following sequence of events:
1) President Reagan appointed Greenspan as chairman of the 1982 National Commission on Social Security Reform (aka The Greenspan Commission)
2) The Greenspan Commission recommended a major payroll tax hike to generate Social Security surpluses for the next 30 years, in order to build up a large reserve in the trust fund that could be drawn down during the years after Social Security began running deficits.
3) The 1983 Social Security amendments enacted hefty increases in the payroll tax in order to generate large future surpluses.
4) As soon as the first surpluses began to role in, in 1985, the money was put into the general revenue fund and spent on other government programs. None of the surplus was saved or invested in anything. The surplus Social Security revenue, that was paid by working Americans, was used to replace the lost revenue from Reagan’s big income tax cuts that went primarily to the rich.
5) In 1987, President Reagan nominated Greenspan as the successor to Paul Volker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Greenspan continued as Fed Chairman until January 31, 2006. (One can only speculate on whether the coveted Fed Chairmanship represented, at least in part, a payback for Greenspan’s role in initiating the Social Security surplus revenue.)
6) In 1990, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, a member of the Greenspan Commission, and one of the strongest advocates the the 1983 legislation, became outraged when he learned that first Reagan, and then President George H.W. Bush used the surplus Social Security revenue to pay for other government programs instead of saving and investing it for the baby boomers. Moynihan locked horns with President Bush and proposed repealing the 1983 payroll tax hike. Moynihan’s view was that if the government could not keep its hands out of the Social Security cookie jar, the cookie jar should be emptied, so there would be no surplus Social Security revenue for the government to loot. President Bush would have no part of repealing the payroll tax hike. The “read-my-lips-no-new-taxes” president was not about to give up his huge slush fund.
The practice of using every dollar of the surplus Social Security revenue for general government spending continues to this day. The 1983 payroll tax hike has generated approximately $2.5 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue which is supposed to be in the trust fund for use in paying for the retirement benefits of the baby boomers. But the trust fund is empty! It contains no real assets. As a result, the government will soon be unable to pay full benefits without a tax increase. Money can be spent or it can be saved. But you can’t do both. Absolutely none of the $2.5 trillion was saved or invested in anything. I have been laboring for more than a decade to expose the great Social Security scam. For more information, please visit my website or contact me.
Dr. Allen W. Smith is a Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of seven books and has been researching and writing about Social Security financing for the past ten years. Read other articles by Allen, or visit Allen's website.
Taxes: What people forget about Reagan
By Jeanne Sahadi, senior writerSeptember 12, 2010: 8:21 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Those who oppose higher taxes and are fed up with record levels of U.S. debt may pine for Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of lower taxes and smaller government.
But it's worth considering just what Reagan did -- and didn't do -- as lawmakers grapple with many of the same issues that their 1980s counterparts faced: a deep recession, high deficits and a rip-roaring political divide over taxes.
- 1Soon after taking office in 1981, Reagan signed into law one of the largest tax cuts in the postwar period.
That legislation -- phased in over three years -- pushed through a 23% across-the-board cut of individual income tax rates. It also called for tax brackets, the standard deduction and personal exemptions to be adjusted for inflation starting in 1984. That would reduce "bracket creep" since the high inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s meant incomes rose very fast, pushing taxpayers into ever higher brackets even though the real value of their income hadn't changed.
The 1981 bill also made certain business deductions more generous.
In 1986, Reagan lowered individual income tax rates again, this time in landmark tax reform legislation.
As a result of the 1981 and 1986 bills, the top income tax rate was slashed from 70% to 28%.
Despite the aggressive tax cutting, Reagan couldn't ignore the budget deficit, which was burgeoning.
After Reagan's first year in office, the annual deficit was 2.6% of gross domestic product. But it hit a high of 6% in 1983, stayed in the 5% range for the next three years, and fell to 3.1% by 1988. (By comparison, this year it's projected to be 9% but is expected to drop considerably thereafter.)
So, despite his public opposition to higher taxes, Reagan ended up signing off on several measures intended to raise more revenue.
"Reagan was certainly a tax cutter legislatively, emotionally and ideologically. But for a variety of political reasons, it was hard for him to ignore the cost of his tax cuts," said tax historian Joseph Thorndike.
Two bills passed in 1982 and 1984 together "constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime," Thorndike said.
The bills didn't raise more revenue by hiking individual income tax rates though. Instead they did it largely through making it tougher to evade taxes, and through "base broadening" -- that is, reducing various federal tax breaks and closing tax loopholes.
For instance, more asset sales became taxable and tax-advantaged contributions and benefits under pension plans were further limited.
"What people forget about Ronald Reagan was that he very much converted to base broadening as a means of reducing deficits and as a means of tax reform," said Eugene Steuerle, an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute who had helped lay the groundwork for tax reform in 1986 and served as a deputy assistant Treasury secretary during Reagan's second term.
There were other notable tax increases under Reagan.
In 1983, for example, he signed off on Social Security reform legislation that, among other things, accelerated an increase in the payroll tax rate, required that higher-income beneficiaries pay income tax on part of their benefits, and required the self-employed to pay the full payroll tax rate, rather than just the portion normally paid by employees.
The tax reform of 1986, meanwhile, wasn't designed to increase federal tax revenue. But that didn't mean that no one's taxes went up. Because the reform bill eliminated or reduced many tax breaks and shelters, high-income tax filers who previously paid little ended up with bigger tax bills.
"Some of these taxpayers were substantial contributors to the Republican Party and to the president's re-election campaign, and had direct access to the White House. Reagan rebuffed their pleas," wrote J. Roger Mentz, the Treasury assistant secretary for tax policy in 1986, in a Tax Notes commentary last year.
All told, the tax increases Reagan approved ended up canceling out much of the reduction in tax revenue that resulted from his 1981 legislation.
Annual federal tax receipts during his presidency averaged 18.2% of GDP, a smidge below the average under President Carter -- and a smidge above the 40-year average today.
How might Reagan fare today?Reagan's behavior might not pass muster with those voters today who insist their Congressmen treat every proposed tax increase as poisonous to the republic.
"By today's standards, the Gipper would easily qualify for status as a back-stabbing, treacherous RINO [Republican in Name Only]," wrote Tax Analysts contributing editor Martin Sullivan, in an article for Tax Notes in May.
Thanks in part to the increases in defense spending during his administration, Reagan also didn't really reduce the size of government. Annual spending averaged 22.4% of GDP on his watch, which is above today's 40-year average of 20.7%, and above the 20.8% average under Carter.
Indeed, in one very symbolic respect he enlarged it. While in the early years of his presidency Reagan tried to shrink the IRS, by the end, the number of IRS employees hit an all-time high, according to Steuerle in his book Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy.
The reason was two-fold, Steuerle said. The first was a desire to crack down on the proliferation of tax shelters. But the point of cracking down was to boost tax revenue. That, in turn, could reduce the need to impose other tax increases to combat budget deficits.
REMEMBER, THIS SCHEME OF REAGAN'S WAS THE BRAINCHILD OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S GREENSPAN. BELOW YOU HEAR A SPEECH BY A FED BOARD MEMBER TELLING TEXANS HOW THERE JUST ISN'T ENOUGH MONEY IN THOSE TRUSTS AND THE DIFFERENCE CANNOT BE MADE UP. NOW YOU CAN SEE WHY THE SOUTH IN PARTICULAR.......FEELS THAT THESE TRUSTS ARE NOT WORTH SAVING.
Richard W. Fisher, May 2008 see entire speech here:
Storms on the Horizon - Richard Fisher Speeches - News & Events - FRB Dallas (http://www.dallasfed.org/news/speeches/fisher/2008/fs080528.cfm)
"I want to remind you that I am only talking about the unfunded portions of Social Security and Medicare. It is what the current payment scheme of Social Security payroll taxes, Medicare payroll taxes, membership fees for Medicare B, copays, deductibles and all other revenue currently channeled to our entitlement system will not cover under current rules. These existing revenue streams must remain in place in perpetuity to handle the “funded” entitlement liabilities. Reduce or eliminate this income and the unfunded liability grows. Increase benefits and the liability grows as well.
Let’s say you and I and Bruce Ericson and every U.S. citizen who is alive today decided to fully address this unfunded liability through lump-sum payments from our own pocketbooks, so that all of us and all future generations could be secure in the knowledge that we and they would receive promised benefits in perpetuity. How much would we have to pay if we split the tab? Again, the math is painful. With a total population of 304 million, from infants to the elderly, the per-person payment to the federal treasury would come to $330,000. This comes to $1.3 million per family of four—over 25 times the average household’s income.
Clearly, once-and-for-all contributions would be an unbearable burden. Alternatively, we could address the entitlement shortfall through policy changes that would affect ourselves and future generations. For example, a permanent 68 percent increase in federal income tax revenue—from individual and corporate taxpayers—would suffice to fully fund our entitlement programs. Or we could instead divert 68 percent of current income-tax revenues from their intended uses to the entitlement system, which would accomplish the same thing.
Suppose we decided to tackle the issue solely on the spending side. It turns out that total discretionary spending in the federal budget, if maintained at its current share of GDP in perpetuity, is 3 percent larger than the entitlement shortfall. So all we would have to do to fully fund our nation’s entitlement programs would be to cut discretionary spending by 97 percent. But hold on. That discretionary spending includes defense and national security, education, the environment and many other areas, not just those controversial earmarks that make the evening news. All of them would have to be cut—almost eliminated, really—to tackle this problem through discretionary spending.
I hope that gives you some idea of just how large the problem is. And just to drive an important point home, these spending cuts or tax increases would need to be made immediately and maintained in perpetuity to solve the entitlement deficit problem. Discretionary spending would have to be reduced by 97 percent not only for our generation, but for our children and their children and every generation of children to come. And similarly on the taxation side, income tax revenue would have to rise 68 percent and remain that high forever. Remember, though, I said tax revenue, not tax rates. Who knows how much individual and corporate tax rates would have to change to increase revenue by 68 percent?
If these possible solutions to the unfunded-liability problem seem draconian, it’s because they are draconian. But they do serve to give you a sense of the severity of the problem. To be sure, there are ways to lessen the reliance on any single policy and the burden borne by any particular set of citizens. Most proposals to address long-term entitlement debt, for example, rely on a combination of tax increases, benefit reductions and eligibility changes to find the trillions necessary to safeguard the system over the long term.
No combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, though, will change the total burden borne by current and future generations. For the existing unfunded liabilities to be covered in the end, someone must pay $99.2 trillion more or receive $99.2 trillion less than they have been currently promised. This is a cold, hard fact. The decision we must make is whether to shoulder a substantial portion of that burden today or compel future generations to bear its full weight."
We understand every time corporate media say the unemployment rate is 7.6% or that the poverty rate in America is 17%......none of that is true. They are pushing America to second and third world status and they are mitigating social unrest by making sure the figures are not made public. Most independent researchers place unemployment at around 25% with the numbers reaching 40% for those working part time. THAT IS HALF THE COUNTRY UNDER EMPLOYMENT DISTRESS. We know many of those are student graduates, people of color, and senior workers forced to retire early.
There may be millions more poor people in the US than you think
By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News - Fri May 3, 2013 4:16 AM EDT 135 Keystone / Getty Images
How one poor neighborhood in Chicago looked in 1963, the year the federal poverty line was determined.
It is responsible for an estimated half-trillion dollars in federal spending every year, is hated by nearly everyone who studies it and is based on an American lifestyle older than the space program.
Yet the figure known as the “poverty line” is almost certainly here to stay. That’s partly because a more accurate measure of who is poor could add millions of Americans to the rolls — something few lawmakers want to have happen on their watch.
“People (are) talking about eliminating poverty in this country,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., whose proposal to change the measure died in Congress five years ago. “You’re not going to eliminate poverty in this country with the definition we have. You can make yourself feel good, but you’re not going to eliminate poverty.”
The poverty line was conceived by a civil servant named Mollie Orshansky who worked for the Social Security Administration and was herself the daughter of poor Ukrainian immigrants. She totaled up the cost of the cheapest three-meals-a-day plan that the federal government considered nutritionally adequate in 1963.
A decade earlier, the Eisenhower administration had calculated that the typical family spent a third of its money on food. So Orshansky multiplied by three. It was that simple. The poverty line was born.
The problem, as social scientists and at least some legislators see it, is that measuring poverty that way is not just outdated but simplistic:
- The federal poverty line — $11,945 in cash income for a single adult, $23,283 for a couple with two kids — is the same whether you are poor in New York, the most expensive city in the United States, or poor in a small town in Nebraska.
- It is the same whether you take transit to work or are hostage to the whims of gas prices. It is the same whether Medicaid helps you with medical expenses or you pay out of pocket. It is the same whether you receive food stamps or pay for child care.
- It is the same regardless of how poor you are. For the purposes of some federal benefits, someone making a dollar below the poverty line is treated the same is someone making virtually nothing.
The federal measure is linked to about half a trillion dollars in federal spending every year, according to a paper published last year by two professors, Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago and James X. Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame, in the Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Among them: Food stamps, anti-poverty block grants for cities, heating and air-conditioning aid, AIDS drug subsidies, family planning services, Head Start and job-finding assistance.
The Census Bureau, which is responsible for updating the poverty line every year to account for inflation, makes no secret of its flaws as a way to determine who qualifies as poor.
Two years ago, the bureau and the Labor Department agreed on a different way — a poverty line that accounts for medical expenses, geographic differences, the cost of shelter and clothing and other factors.
SSA History Archives
Mollie Orshansky, the civil servant who developed the poverty line, pictured in 1967. She died in 2006.
It’s called the Supplemental Poverty Measure. But it exists only for federal number-crunchers. It has no teeth.
Look into the numbers and it’s easy to see why: Using the existing poverty line, there are 45.8 million poor people in the United States, or about 15 percent of the population. Using the supplemental measure, there are 2.6 million more.
West Virginia’s poverty rate would fall about four percentage points if the supplemental measure were updated — meaning fewer federal dollars for its people. California’s poverty rate would soar, from 16 percent to 23 percent.
“Some states would get gored, and some states would be happy,” Haveman said. “You get all sorts of political opposition. It’s a gridlock.”
Because of what analysts have called a historical accident, any change to the poverty measure has to come from the Office of Management and Budget, under the president. And no president wants to suddenly have millions more poor people on his watch.
All the other major economic statistics are controlled by federal statistical agencies, which have to review and update them regularly, Rebecca Blank, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Congress in 2008.
“There is no other economic statistic in use today that relies on 1955 data and methods developed in the early 1960s,” she said. Blank is now the acting commerce secretary and declined an interview request through a spokeswoman.
Frustrated by the federal poverty measure, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg adopted his own in 2008. The city took into account the higher local cost of living, among other expenses, and set the line about $8,000 higher for a family of four.
The result was a higher poverty rate — 21 percent in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, compared with 19 percent using the federal line.
But because the New York measure also accounts for help for the poor, like tax credits and food stamps, it also led the city to conclude that Bush administration tax cuts and the Obama stimulus package had helped keep poverty from going even higher.
McDermott, the Washington congressman, introduced a similar nationwide bill in 2008. It would have taken into account modern costs of living and benefits for the poor. It never came up for a vote.
“One can only speculate about why,” he said in an interview. “Except the fact that you’re much more likely to find a lot of people poor.”