A coalition of prosecutors on Monday sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB for its acronym in English) of the White House in which they oppose the proposal to redefine poverty, which allegedly leave millions of people out of poverty. federal welfare programs.
New York prosecutors, Letitia James, and Illinois prosecutors, Kwame Raoul, today informed of the creation of the coalition, of 21 general prosecutors, who united against the proposal, announced last May 7 by the OMB.
The Budget Office reported that it considers reducing inflation in the “official measure of poverty,” a formula that has been used for years to see if a person qualifies for certain benefits and assistance programs, they recalled in a joint press release.
“This administration has declared war on New Yorkers and Americans living in poverty,” prosecutor James said in the statement.
“Changing the way the poverty threshold is calculated could negatively impact tens of thousands of New Yorkers and millions of people across the nation, depriving them of the crucial benefits and funds they need to achieve a basic standard of living,” he said.
The definition that has been used so far for the poverty level determines eligibility for various federal and state programs such as food stamps and health insurance such as Medicaid.
The level of poverty is considered if the income for a person is less than 12,400 per year; for families of two people under 16,910; if for one composed of three it is less than 21,330 or less than 25,750 for a family of four individuals.
Prosecutors argued in their letter to the Budget Office that, over time, their proposal could cause millions of marginalized people to lose access to the assistance programs they deserve.
According to the prosecutors, although the formula used for this definition is “obsolete and does not accurately reflect the spending patterns of people living near the poverty line, the proposal could worsen the defects in the existing methodology.”
They also argued that the Budget Office has not provided any evidence or reason to justify their proposal.
They recalled that in order to calculate the federal poverty threshold, OMB defines inflation as the increase in the prices of goods and services, and a decrease in the purchasing power of money.
They cited in their letter an investigation that, they argue, shows that low-income people experience inflation at higher rates than other people and that reducing the measure of inflation would lead to a reduction in the poverty line and as a result, the number of people who live under that definition and therefore qualify for federal benefits.