The Economic Stability Indicator is a project of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota to illustrate to legislators, policymakers and advocates the interaction between wages, public programs, tax credits and 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 and 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 needs expenses to make work pay for low-income families.
Educate policymakers and legislators on how current and proposed legislation and tax policies create “cliff effects” and other unintended consequences.
Illustrate the difficult decisions low-income families must make to make ends meet, especially when programs are not fully funded.
Educate families about wage and program interaction so they can make informed choices about employment and program use.