While President Bush pledges to reduce poverty through tax reform, the number of low-income Americans-especially the working poor-continues to skyrocket, according to the "Working Hard, Falling Short" report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in October 2004. To be considered low-income, a family of four earned less than $36,784 in 2002. (The median income for a family of four was $62,732.) Of the 9.2 million low-income working families, 2.5 million are officially in poverty-earning less than $18,392 for a family of four. This contradicts assumptions that anyone can succeed in the U.S. economy by getting an education, getting married, and working hard.
Source: "Working Hard, Falling Short: America's Working Families and the Pursuit of Economic Security" (Working Poor Families Project, October 2004).