A liberal-leaning research group released a strategy today to cut in half the number of people living below the poverty line in the United States.

The group says 37 million live below the poverty line, which is set at $20,000 annually for a family of four. That’s one-half million more people than live in California, the nation’s most populated state.

The Center for American Progress says the poor need more child care subsidies and tax credits, among other measures that would lower the number of people in poverty nationwide.

From the report’s summary:

Poverty in the United States is far higher than in many other developed nations. At the turn of the 21st century, the United States ranked 24th among 25 countries when measuring the share of the population below 50 percent of median income.

Inequality has reached record highs. The richest 1 percent of Americans in 2005 held the largest share of the nation’s income (19 percent) since 1929. At the same time, the poorest 20 percent of Americans held only 3.4 percent of the nation’s income.

You can see the report here.

Census data released in August showed slight fluctuations in the number of San Diegans living below that federal poverty line, finding 11 percent in the county and 13 percent in the city.

But a local liberal think tank, the Center on Policy Initiatives, opined that the federal poverty line doesn’t come close to including all of the people in San Diego who live in actual poverty. According to the CPI analysis of the Census numbers, one in five full-time workers in San Diego earns less than $25,000 annually. And CPI calculates the cost of living for a single adult with no children to be $25,950.

Those Census numbers came out at about the same time Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers agreed to raise the state’s minimum wage in two jumps to land at $8.00 per hour next January.


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