The Economic Stability Indicator is a project
of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) to illustrate to legislators,
policymakers, advocates, and service providers the interaction
between wages, public work support programs, tax credits and tax liability in
bringing or failing to bring families to economic stability. This tool can be
used to demonstrate the gap that exists between low wages, a basic needs
budget, and the effect public programs and tax credits play in filling that gap.
The specific goals of the Economic Stability Indicator are to:
Demonstrate how wages, public
programs benefits, tax credits and tax liability interact to fill the gap,
or fail to fill the gap, between low-wages and basic need household expenses.
Educate policymakers and
legislators on how current and proposed public program legislation and tax
policies affect low-income families and either help or hinder them on the
road to economic stability.
Highlight the income levels at
which families begin to lose public program benefits and how detrimental these
“cliff effects” can be in encouraging workers to progress up the income
ladder to reach self-sufficiency.
Illustrate the difficult
decisions low-income families must make to make ends meet every month,
especially when programs are not fully funded.
Educate families about wage and
program interaction so they can make informed choices about employment, program
use and saving opportunities so they better understand how to reach economic stability.