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NY officials oppose White House plan to recalculate poverty rate

Jun 25, 2019 12:15 pm
Denis Slattery is reporting for the Daily News New York lawmakers and advocacy groups are calling on the Trump administration to rethink its plan to redefine poverty. The White House Office of Management and Budget last month proposed changes to how inflation and the consumer price index are calculated, which would alter how poverty rates are estimated. At present,12.3 percent of Americans, or approximately 40 million people, live below the poverty line. President Donald Trump is considering using the Chained Consumer Price Index, and not the US Consumer Price Index, which would significantly lower the poverty rate, critics argue. The Chained CPI method assumes that as the prices of goods go up, people will buy less expensive things, thereby reducing their overall expenses. However, the poorest Americans are typically already buying cheaper goods. The progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that if the chained CPI method is implemented, hundreds of thousands of people would lose access to benefits and medical coverage over a 10-year period. “Redefining poverty will not reduce poverty," a coalition of elected officials and advocacy groups wrote to Trump in a recent letter. “We strongly encourage the OMB to further study the long term impacts of this suggested policy change prior to implementation.” The public comment period for the proposal ends June 28, after which the White House can simply issue a memo to change how the poverty threshold is calculated. Read the full story in the Daily News.