The 2009 poverty line for a family of four, by the way, is $22,050, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
These are useful figures to keep in mind when considering the tax deal before Congress. McClatchy News reports that people earning less than $20,000 a year will get a tax increase if Congress approves the deal. Explains Chris Adams, the deal
...would lower Social Security taxes on all workers by 2 percentage points. At the same time, the proposal eliminates the "Making Work Pay" tax credit that was part of the 2009 stimulus package and reduced Americans' taxes by up to $400 for an individual or $800 for a couple.That doesn't necessarily mean that 62 million people would get a tax hike. A two-wage-earner couple that makes more than $40,000 would still get a tax break under the deal even if one wage earner made less than $20,000.
But it does mean that boatloads of Americans will pay higher taxes if the deal passes.