Friday, November 28th, 2014

Promises about Poverty on The Obameter

Create a retirement savings tax credit for low incomes

A tax credit for retirement savings up to $500 (couples) or $250 (singles). Phases out when incomes exceed $65,000 (couples) or $32,500 (single). Indexed for inflation.

End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000

"Will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. This will eliminate taxes for 7 million seniors -- saving them an average of $1,400 a year-- and will also mean that 27 million seniors will not need to file an income tax return at all."

Expand eligibility for Medicaid

"Expand eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs and ensure that these programs continue to serve their critical safety net function."

Expand housing vouchers program for homeless veterans

"Expand proven homeless veteran housing vouchers to assist those already on the streets."

Fully fund debt cancellation for heavily indebted poor countries

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden want to see 100 percent debt cancellation for the world's heavily-indebted poor countries. They are committed to living up to the promise to fully fund debt cancellation for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)."

Expand the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will expand the highly-successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers. The Nurse-Family Partnership provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families. The trained nurses use proven methods to help improve the mental and physical health of the family by providing counseling on substance abuse, creating and achieving personal goals, and effective methods of nurturing children."

Expand Pell grants for low-income students

"Will continue to work to ensure that the maximum Pell Grant award is increased for low-income students. Specifically, he will ensure that the award keeps pace with the rising cost of college inflation."

Help low-income areas get phone and Internet service

"Will reform the Telephone Universal Service Program, direct the FCC to better manage the nation's airwaves, and encourage public-private partnership to get more low-income communities connected."

Increase the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions

Will support "efforts to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund would use a small percentage of the profits of two government-sponsored housing agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to create thousands of new units of affordable housing every year...Will also restore cuts to public housing operating subsidies, and ensure that all Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs are restored to their original purpose."

Establish 'Promise Neighborhoods' for areas of concentrated poverty

"Will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in cities that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement. The Promise Neighborhoods will model the Harlem Children's Zone and seek to engage all resident children and their parents in an achievement program based on tangible goals, including college for every participating student, strong physical and mental health outcomes for children as well as retention of meaningful employment and parenting schools for parents. Cities and private entities will be required to pay 50 percent of the program costs."

Increase the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour

"Will further raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing."

Invest in transitional jobs and career pathway programs

"Will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathways programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce. This investment will be coupled with other measures to encourage the private sector and state and local governments to increase their support of these effective employment programs."

Cap interest rates on payday loans and improve disclosure

Will limit interest rates on payday loans to 36 percent "because predatory lending continues to be a major problem for low and middle income families alike. Obama also believes that we need to ensure that all Americans have access to clear and simplified information about loan fees, payments and penalties, which is why he'll require lenders to provide this information during the loan application process"...And he "will work to empower more Americans in the fight against predatory lending by supporting initiatives to improve financial literacy and financial planning."