Here's another link to an article from a paper in Texas that makes the point that the poverty line is set too low.
Consider the current U.S. “poverty line” amount for a single-parent family with two children. According to the Census Bureau, the 2008 amount was $17,346. Would this annual income cover a family’s basic needs?Is this our country's way to keep the number of people living in poverty down? Just don't change the "poverty line" level even though prices go up?
According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Web site, this three-person family in the Kerrville area (rural Texas) must earn $31,320 annually to pay for key necessities, without setting aside any money in savings or investments.