Congress must lend helping hand to poor

What does it mean to be poor in America?

For many of the 37 million Americans trapped in economic bondage, it means work, often backbreaking work, for little pay. Illness, car trouble, a rent increase - any of these can spell disaster, sending a family into economic meltdown.

For seniors struggling to live on a fixed income, an increase in a power bill or at the gas pump can send a monthly budget crashing. More seniors are now relying on their adult children for financial help. And for the 13 million children living in families with incomes below the poverty level, it sometimes can come down to challenges as basic as having enough food.

Recently, Congress has done less and less to help Americans hanging onto the ledge of the nation's prosperity. That should change.

... Congress could fix the broken reform effort by doing more to give families a way up and out of poverty. Congress cut $55 billion from programs that help the most vulnerable, including food stamps, employment training and child care. Putting this money back would ensure the best chance of success. An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit also would help families climb out of poverty. ...

The above editorial excerpt is from The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal.