Chart Book: Accomplishments of the Safety Net

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 2, 2015

From the summary:
Today’s safety net both keeps tens of millions of Americans out of poverty and has positive longer-term impacts on children, helping them do better (and go farther) in school and work and earn more as adults. Still, poverty remains high and many families face serious hardship.
The following charts illustrate that:
Part I: The Safety Net Is Effective Against Poverty
• The safety net cuts poverty in half.
• SNAP keeps 10 million people out of poverty.
• Tax credits keep 9 million people in working families out of poverty.
• Social Security keeps 17 million seniors and 10 million others out of poverty.
• Corrected numbers reveal a larger anti-poverty impact for safety net programs.
• An expanded poverty measure shows progress against poverty that official measure masks.
Part II: The Safety Net Has Other Positive Effects
• The safety net provides long-term benefits.
• Public programs provide health coverage to millions of seniors and low-income people.
• Public programs focus on assisting people who are elderly, disabled, or in working families.
Part III: The Safety Net Is Limited
• Many households continue to face hardships.
• Other countries do more than the United States to reduce poverty.