Income / Poverty - Fast Facts
All fast facts for Federal Spending are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO),
the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR), the Department of Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),
and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). They do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Some simply provide historical
context. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement. As always, verify
and view statements in their full context as often as possible.
The Gini index is a measure of income inequality. A Gini index of 1 would be total inequality, while a Gini of zero would mean complete equality. According to this OECD table of select nations, Germany, Poland and Italy have Gini numbers in the .50's, while most nations have a Gini index in the .40's, with Finland, Iceland, Korea, and Switzerland in the .30's.
Federal spending for low-income programs - not including the two veterans programs mentioned in the report - grew by 23% from FY2008 ($563 billion) to FY2009 ($692 billion).
Without the two veterans programs, federal spending for programs explicitly intended for people with low or limited income totaled $733 billion in 2010 and $746 billion in 2011, up from $563 billion in FY2008 and $692 billion in FY2009.
According to a 2008 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Switzerland has the lowest share of total taxes paid by the richest decile and the lowest share of market income concentrated toward the richest decile. All selected nations show a lower total share of taxes paid by the top decile than is the case for the United States, including the UK, Canada, France, and Switzerland.
In many high-tax countries, taxes embody little progressivity - this is particularly the case in Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands. And household taxes are more progressive in the United States than in most EU countries.