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Institute for American Values Institute for Marriage and Public Policy - page 15 / 44

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Family Type

Percent Receiving Cash Assistance All Income Levels

Percent Receiving Cash Assistance Families Earning < 200% of Poverty Level

Married Male head no spouse present Female head no spouse present

3.6% 7.8% 17.2%

8.5% 13.2% 24.8%

Table 5.Household Income and Usage of Cash Assistance

(Source: 2006 CPS)

Family Type

Percent Receiving Medicaid All Income Levels

Percent Receiving Medicaid Families Earning < 200% of Poverty Level

Married Male head no spouse present Female head no spouse present

15.4% 27.9% 45.6%

40.3% 43.9% 62.7%

(Source: 2006 CPS)

Table 6.Household Income and Usage of Medicaid

Assumption 1 means that our analysis focuses on female-headed households only; that is, taxpayer costs associated with single-father households are excluded. Assumptions 2 and 3 allow us to make cautious and straightforward estimates of increased government expenditures on TANF, Food Stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, SCHIP, child welfare programs, WIC, LIHEAP, Head Start, and school breakfast and lunch programs that result from family fragmentation. (See more details in “Notes to Table A.1” on page 33.) For government programs that serve both adults and children (TANF, Food Stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, WIC, and LIHEAP), we assume that 31.7 percent of these costs are due to family fragmen- tation. We make this assumption because existing data (as shown in table 3) sug- gests that family fragmentation is responsible for 31.7 percent of overall poverty, and assumption 3 suggests that family fragmentation is responsible for 31.7 percent of taxpayer costs on these programs.

For government programs that serve only or predominantly children (such as SCHIP, child welfare programs, Head Start, and school breakfast and lunch programs), we assume that 36.1 percent of these costs are due to family fragmentation.32

We offer one cautionary note: The taxpayer costs associated with family fragmen- tation may be real, but this link does not mean that taxpayers would necessarily choose to realize all the tax savings from reductions in family fragmentation.

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