We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Bruce Kesler of Democracy Project was kind enough to send some readings a while ago explaining how poverty has been dealt with by the US government. I forgot to post them at the time, probably intending to write more about it:
You generally don't hear much about the Earned Income Tax Credit. It's sort of the dirty little secret that government, especially democrats, don't like to discuss. The truth is that the EIC has a tremendous impact on society, particularly for low income individuals. I think that many people in the middle to upper income brackets would be shocked if they knew how much money is involved.
The EIC is essentially a refund of social security taxes. But in reality it should be called the Unearned Income Tax Credit. Combined with federal withholding and other credits, it's not unusual for a person earning $15000 to recieve over a $4000 refund, or over 25% of their income.
As a CPA, I have been concerned for years about the fraud aspect. The IRS has stepped up its fraud detection process, however, it is being perpetuated on too large of a scale to be effective. Sadly, many of these folks are also being taken advantage of by "tax anticipation loans" from H & R Block etc.