1/2 the fpg

Gross for this household was under the federal poverty guidelines for two people, net by half, and there is no great benefit filling taxes in a household which falls under that label, you still gotta pay taxes. Does it matter if the income number is gross or net? Poverty is the name of the game today. I was curious as to whether “poverty guidelines” meant before or after taxes, so I went to the FAQ section of the U.S. Census Bureau and read this:

“Are the poverty guidelines before-tax or after-tax?  Are they gross income or net income?  What definition of income is used with the poverty guidelines?

There is no simple answer to these questions.  When determining program eligibility, some agencies compare before-tax income to the poverty guidelines, while other agencies compare after-tax income.  Likewise, eligibility can be dependent on gross income, net income, or some other measure of income.  Federal, state, and local program offices that use the poverty guidelines for eligibility purposes may define income in different ways. 

While there is no standard definition of income for program eligibility purposes, the Census Bureau uses a standard definition of income for computing poverty statistics based on the official poverty thresholds.  More information is available on the Census Bureau’s web site.”

Well, it doesn’t really matter now does it? Here is the poverty threshold page for those who wonder how little this household survives on these days. No food stamps this year, because we went over the income limit for one month, and since you have to report that, we did and rather than letting us take an average…well, we are no longer in the program rather than be jerked in and out of it. I am forever grateful that they did help out last year. We figured we would give the stamps up for someone else who needed them more than we do. Someone with kids at home, or someone who may be eating the dog or cat food that has no pets. So far we are still eating, as are the two dogs and cat; unfortunately none of us makes a difference on the income taxes.

This year I had money for a hammock, so life must be better, right? It works out to about ten gallons of milk. I can give that up to wrap myself in the luxury of a cotton hammock and dream of something better this year.

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