I am neither conserv or lib, but one of the major probs causing poverty is the loss of jobs of the kind that made the US prosperous during the 50s. Over the last several decades these jobs were first lost through mergers and acquisitions that resulted in what I call Super Global Monopolies. These are for profit organizations that are too big to fail, and too huge for the US government to control. Control in the sense of making them conform to laws.
These M&A resulted in diminishing the size and shape of the US middle class. The US middle class was the backbone of the US. Today that class has been severely reduced, many of which have fallen into the class below. Many others of that class have been forced out of the work class entirely for different reasons.
Since the 70s, the US has gradually lost all of the manufacturing industries. They are either controlled by foreign powers, or their business has been taken offshore.
Today, 46 million Americans are on food stamps. Those people that are working for wages pay a significant share of their after tax wages on healthcare insurance. While the US congress has taken away most of their tax deductions as a result of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. Just recently the US Congress increased the 7.5% medical deduction to 10%. This doesn't help the wage earner.
Therefore, poverty in the US is a direct result of the loss of jobs and the redirection of the US to a service industry. The US wage earner has to pay more taxes, and more of its after tax money to pay for insurance, food, and housing. Taxing gasoline is the most burdensome on those people making low wages and having to commute some distance to get to their job.
Our Imports severely outnumber our exports, and that also gives China a foothold into America. The US government has increased in size and scope since the 70s to become to costly and unproductive to the people.
The public pension funds, the excellent healthcare insurance, retirement, and other benefits make government public servants treat like the Masters. While the Masters in the private sector have little to none of these same benefits.
Decreasing the size and scope of the bloated and ineffective US government could put more money in the hands of the people.
Remember, all the trillions given in taxes to the government to protect us, totally failed on 911.