Saurav Sarkar & Aaron Noffke

Saurav Sarkar and Aaron Noffke led the research team for the Souls of Poor Folk, an audit of poverty, systemic racism, militarism, and ecological devastation in the United States for the Institute for Policy Studies and the Poor People's Campaign.

Recent Articles

Trump Launches Aggressive Poverty Disinformation Campaign

The middle class is starting to look poor, but the president’s Council of Economic Advisers now argues that not even the poor are poor—all the better to cut programs that serve both groups. 

Just how many Americans are poor? The Trump administration wants you to believe that just 3 percent of the U.S. population is poor. The Council of Economic Advisers made that claim in a little-noticed report published earlier this summer, as part of a coordinated effort to justify harsh new restrictions on government assistance programs. This bad-faith estimate emerged more from a desire to hurt the poor than to engage in honest policymaking on the issue of poverty. In March, the Congressional Budget Office found that nearly half of social safety net payments are going to people that the federal government once considered "middle class." Think about that: At a time when even the middle class is starting to look poor, the administration argues that not even the poor are poor so that federal officials can move to cut programs that both groups now rely on to stay afloat. So what's behind this numbers game? How we measure poverty in the United States has actually been the subject of a...