February 24, 2014 | Why is Congress still measuring poverty based on a 1963 trip to the grocery store?
The result is the federal poverty level. For 2014, that threshold was $23,850 for a family of four. Smaller families can subtract $4,060 per person. Individuals making $11,670 or less in 2014 were officially poor. Many government programs, from School Lunch to the Earned Income Tax Credit to Obamacare's subsidies, decide eligibility by comparing one’s annual cash income to the official poverty level—or to a multiple of it, say 150 percent.