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Vocapedia > Economy / Politics > Welfare

 

 

 

The Rich Want To Keep All The Welfare For Themselves

Barry Deutsch Posted in Economic cartoons

Ampersand

September 5th, 2008

http://leftycartoons.com/the-rich-want-to-keep-all-the-welfare-for-themselves/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welfare and the Politics of Poverty        NYT        7 June 2016

 

 

 

 

Welfare and the Politics of Poverty        Video        Retro Report | The New York Times        7 June 2016

 

Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform

was supposed to move needy families

off government handouts

and onto a path out of poverty.

 

Twenty years later, how has it turned out?

Produced by: RETRO REPORT

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=Y9lfuqqNA_g

 

Related

http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004377970/
welfare-and-the-politics-of-poverty.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK > welfare        UK / USA

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/welfare

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/16/
digital-welfare-state-big-tech-allowed-to-target-and-surveil-the-poor-un-warns

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/nov/28/
harry-leslie-smith-obituary

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/
world/europe/uk-austerity-poverty.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/26/
welfare-system-beveridge-75-years

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/30/
reasons-to-be-hopeful-2016-britain-welfare-state

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2016/oct/21/
meet-the-real-daniel-blakes-ken-loach-video

 

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=Y9lfuqqNA_g - NYT - 7 June 2016

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/11/
benefits-left-welfare

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/21/
george-osborne-welfare-labour-chancellor

 

 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/28/
margaret-thatcher-role-plan-to-dismantle-welfare-state-revealed

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/06/
welfare-cuts-public-sector-ifs

 

 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2010/oct/04/
martin-rowson-cameron-welfare-reforms

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/16/
clegg-defends-benefits-cuts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/26/
coalition-welfare-reforms-duncan-smith

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/20/
spending-review-2010-osborne-cuts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jun/28/
welfare-incapacity-benefit-claimants-assessment

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/28/
poverty-yardstick-equality-spirit-level

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/27/
new-model-welfare-state

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/22/
budget-2010-vat-rise-osborne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

welfare        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/tags/128095703/welfare

 

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2019/06/09/
730684320/the-mothers-who-fought-to-radically-reimagine-welfare

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/17/
opinion/sunday/welfare-queen-myth-reagan.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/23/
opinion/trump-social-policies-welfare.html

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2018/06/08/
616684259/why-more-white-americans-are-opposing-government-welfare-programs

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/22/
opinion/john-kasich-20-years-after-reform-welfare-is-still-broken.html

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/22/
490245470/20-years-since-welfares-overhaul-results-are-mixed

 

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/
do-americans-still-hate-welfare/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

get welfare        USA

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/22/
490245470/20-years-since-welfares-overhaul-results-are-mixed

 

 

 

 

 welfare schemes        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/26/
payment-cards-emergency-assistance-food-stamps

 

 

 

 

welfare secretary        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jun/14/
child-poverty-iain-duncan-smith

 

 

 

 

welfare state        UK

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csv3gv - Mon 9 Oct 2017

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/30/
reasons-to-be-hopeful-2016-britain-welfare-state

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/12/
i-daniel-blake-ken-loachs-welfare-state-polemic-is-blunt-dignified-and-brutally-moving

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2014/dec/07/
autumn-statement-2014-economy

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/13/
adrian-mole-sue-townsend-welfare

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/27/
new-model-welfare-state

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/26/
iain-duncan-smith-interview-welfare

 

 

 

 

'digital welfare state'        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/16/
digital-welfare-state-big-tech-allowed-to-target-and-surveil-the-poor-un-warns

 

 

 

 

nanny state        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/sep/09/
health.healthandwellbeing

 

 

 

 

welfare system

 

 

 

 

welfare benefits / benefits        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/society/benefits 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/11/
benefits-left-welfare

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/26/
guardian-christmas-2010-charity-appeal

 

 

 

 

Channel 4’s Benefits Street        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/11/
benefits-left-welfare

 

 

 

 

welfare benefits going paperless    USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/29/
business/29checkless.html

 

 

 

 

benefits > universal basic income        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jun/27/
benefit-or-burden-the-cities-trying-out-universal-basic-income

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/05/
john-mcdonnell-labour-universal-basic-income-welfare-benefits-compass-report

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/13/
should-we-scrap-benefits-and-pay-everyone-100-a-week-whether-they-work-or-not

 

 

 

 

housing benefit        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/14/
housing-benefit-coalition-people-claiming

 

 

 

 

welfare cuts / sanctions        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/10/
iain-duncan-smith-conservative-cabinet-david-cameron-welfare-cuts

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/08/
tories-conservatives-12bn-welfare-cuts

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/03/
victims-britains-harsh-welfare-sanctions

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/27/
welfare-cuts-susan-donnelly

 

 

 

 

cut welfare        USA

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/10/
tories-mistake-meaning-victory-not-more-conservative-welfare-cameron

 

 

 

 

welfare        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/
opinion/sunday/why-i-was-wrong-about-welfare-reform.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/
opinion/thomas-edsall-cutting-the-poor-out-of-welfare.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoXTLVp38PE - 7 December 2013

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/
opinion/krugman-moochers-against-welfare.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/
weekinreview/08deparle.html

 

 

 

 

tenant on welfare        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/04/
buy-to-let-landlord-evicts-housing-benefit-tenants

 

 

 

 

social programs        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/11/
opinion/smart-social-programs.html

 

 

 

 

need public assistance        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/
business/economy/working-but-needing-public-assistance-anyway.html

 

 

 

 

be on public assistance        USA

 

— relying on food stamps,

Medicaid

or other stretches

of the safety net

to help cover

basic expenses

when (...) paychecks

come up short.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/
business/economy/working-but-needing-public-assistance-anyway.html

 

 

 

 

depend on Medicaid,

a child-care subsidy and food stamps

to help care for her 3-year-old son Manny        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/
business/economy/working-but-needing-public-assistance-anyway.html

 

 

 

 

Directgov        UK

Public services all in one place

https://www.gov.uk/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

welfare reforms        UK        2013-2014

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/06/
age-uk-cuts-to-elderly-care

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/05/
families-priced-out-london-homes-benefit-cap

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/21/
welfare-reforms-appeal-challenges-benefits-cap-bedroom-tax

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/
nick-clegg-archbishop-exaggerating-impace-welfare-reforms

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/19/
david-cameron-welfare-reforms-moral-high-ground

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/19/
david-cameron-moral-mission-welfare-archbishop-westminster

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/15/
welfare-reform-disgrace-archbishop-westminster

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jul/30/
iain-duncan-smith-agressive-welfare-philosophy

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/28/
proud-welfare-reforms-fair-benefits

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jul/25/
welfare-revolution-poor-results

 

 

 

 

welfare cuts        UK        2010-2014

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/22/
welfare-cuts-drive-uk-poorest-poverty-oxfam

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/16/
welfare-cuts-government-coalition-benefits

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2013/jul/18/
local-welfare-cuts-rich-pickings-for-loan-sharks

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/20/
spending-review-2010-osborne-cuts

 

 

 

 

cut welfare        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/19/
cambridge-benefits-cut-welfare-under-25s-education

 

 

 

 

welfare shakeup        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/11/
welfare-unemployment-benefits-tougher-rules

 

 

 

 

welfare crackdown        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jun/28/
welfare-incapacity-benefit-claimants-assessment

 

 

 

 

war on welfare        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/10/
thatcherism-infected-politics

 

 

 

 

welfare overhaul        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/society/video/2018/oct/24/
absurd-and-degrading-how-universal-credit-ruins-lives-video

 

 

 

 

social care cuts        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/26/
cuts-vulnerable-older-people-without-state-social-care

 

 

 

 

lack of care        USA

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/16/
austerity-british-state-children-special-needs-mental-health

 

 

 

 

universal credit        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/society/video/2018/oct/24/
absurd-and-degrading-how-universal-credit-ruins-lives-video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Security        USA

 

Since it was created

by President

Franklin D. Roosevelt

in 1935,

Social Security

has been the centerpiece

of the nation’s social contract,

an intergenerational commitment

to provide at least

a subsistence income

to the most vulnerable

of citizens.

 

It is not only the biggest

government entitlement plan,

comprising over 20 percent

of the federal budget,

but also the most universal

and the most popular.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/social_security_us/index.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/social-security-us

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/
opinion/sunday/sunday-dialogue-financing-social-security.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

need benefits        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/19/
cambridge-benefits-cut-welfare-under-25s-education

 

 

 

 

State benefits        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/money/statebenefits  

 

 

 

 

benefit cap        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/05/
families-priced-out-london-homes-benefit-cap

 

 

 

 

benefit system        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/
bishops-blame-cameron-food-bank-crisis

 

 

 

 

housing benefit        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/society/housing-benefit 

 

 

 

 

benefits        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/13/
should-we-scrap-benefits-and-pay-everyone-100-a-week-whether-they-work-or-not

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/16/
clegg-defends-benefits-cuts

 

 

 

 

child benefit

 

 

 

 

incapacity benefit        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/feb/02/
socialexclusion.publicservices 

 

 

 

 

benefit fraud        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/feb/01/
benefits-fraud-investigators

 

 

 

 

means test

 

 

 

 

it is means tested

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nanny state        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2006/nov/19/
childrensservices.politics 

 

 

 

 

safety net        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/
nick-clegg-archbishop-exaggerating-impace-welfare-reforms

 

 

 

 

safety net        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/
opinion/sunday/safety-net-hospitals-health-care.html

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/22/
529567550/white-house-to-release-taxpayer-first-budget-plan-with-cuts-to-safety-nets

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/27/
business/retirement/rethinking-retirement-for-longer-lives-with-fewer-safety-nets.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/
opinion/19wed1.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/24/us/
24unemploy.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/
opinion/12ehrenreich.html

 

 

 

 

safety-net hospitals        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/
opinion/sunday/safety-net-hospitals-health-care.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Was Wrong

About Welfare Reform

 

JUNE 18, 2016

The New York Times

Nicholas Kristof

 

TULSA, Okla. — IN 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a controversial compromise bill for welfare reform, promising to “end welfare as we know it.”

I was sympathetic to that goal at the time, but I’ve decided that I was wrong. What I’ve found in my reporting over the years is that welfare “reform” is a misnomer and that cash welfare is essentially dead, leaving some families with children utterly destitute.

Every year I hold a “win a trip” contest to choose a university student to accompany me on a reporting trip to cover global poverty in places like Congo or Myanmar. This year we decided to journey as well to Tulsa, in the heartland of America, because the embarrassing truth is that welfare reform has resulted in a layer of destitution that echoes poverty in countries like Bangladesh.

Recent research finds that because of welfare reform, roughly three million American children live in households with incomes of less than $2 per person per day, a global metric of extreme poverty. That’s one American child in 25. They would be counted as extremely poor if they lived in Africa, and they are our neighbors in the most powerful nation in the world.

So my win-a-trip winner, Cassidy McDonald, an aspiring journalist from the University of Notre Dame, and I interviewed families in Tulsa. Extreme poverty is not the same in the U.S. as in Africa, for America has better safety nets from the government and from churches and charities. But it’s still staggering, and instead of mitigating the problem, “welfare reform” has exacerbated it.

One of the people I met was Hailey, a toddler with blond hair, a winning smile and worrying prospects. She was born with drugs in her system to a young woman addicted to opioids, the family says, so she is cared for by her grandmother, Bobbie Ingraham, 47. Ingraham is clearly devoted to the girl, but she is struggling herself.

Ingraham acknowledges that for most of her life she battled drug addictions and committed crimes (mostly writing fake prescriptions for pain pills), and married a man who beat her and is now in prison. Ingraham recounts a litany of health issues — she spent eight days in the hospital this spring — that make it difficult for her to find a job.

She receives food stamps, and she has a home that she inherited from her grandmother. But she has zero cash income from work or benefits — zero! — so she can’t make utility payments, and her electricity, gas and water have been cut off.

These days, Ingraham says, she’s avoiding drugs and crime — she says she has been “clean” for 13 months — and she cried as she spoke of trying to raise a toddler on nothing more than food stamps and church clothing donations. “I just love this baby so much,” she says.

I supported welfare reform because initially it seemed to be working. Liberal predictions of children sleeping on grates did not come to pass, and on the contrary, there was a burst of employment for low-income single mothers as people moved from welfare to work.

But the employment bump stalled, and the replacement program for welfare, called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, has pretty much collapsed, especially in Republican states like Oklahoma. There are now more postage stamp collectors in America than there are families collecting cash welfare, and so kids like Hailey grow up in chaotic households in which there is simply no money.

“Welfare is dead,” declares an important book, “$2 a Day,” an exposé of extreme poverty by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. It is their research that finds that roughly three million American children live in households earning less than $2 per person per day.

Yet it’s also true that the old welfare system was a wreck, creating dependency and cycles of poverty, as the real experts on poverty sometimes acknowledge.

“I think welfare reform was good,” Ashley Hene, 29, told me, even though she has run into the replacement program’s time limits. “Everybody was taking advantage of it.”

Stephanie Johnson, 35, who is raising four children through odd jobs, agreed. “If it was readily available, I’d abuse it; I’d say they’re giving me free money,” she said. “People use these systems as a crutch more than a steppingstone.”

So here’s where I come down. Welfare reform has failed, but the solution is not a reversion to the old program. Rather, let’s build new programs targeting children in particular and drawing from the growing base of evidence of what works.

That starts with free long-acting birth control for young women who want it (70 percent of pregnancies among young single women are unplanned). Follow that with high-quality early-childhood programs and prekindergarten, drug treatment, parenting coaching and financial literacy training, and a much greater emphasis on jobs programs to usher the poor into the labor force and bring them income.

President Franklin Roosevelt relied on aggressive jobs programs in the 1930s. Let’s turn to them again for people who can’t find work in the private sector. These measures won’t solve America’s poverty problem, but at least they’ll give Hailey a fighting chance.

 

Ross Douthat is off this month.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook
and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on June 19, 2016,
on page SR11 of the New York edition with the headline:
Why I Was Wrong About Welfare Reform.

Why I Was Wrong About Welfare Reform,
NYT,
June 18, 2016,
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/
opinion/sunday/why-i-was-wrong-about-welfare-reform.html

 

 

 

 

 

These children of Thatcher

are free to cut, cut, cut

– and they’re loving every minute

 

George Osborne and David Cameron

have been waiting for this moment

– to take us back to a prewar,

pre-welfare government

 

Thursday 21 May 2015

11.51 BST

Last modified on Thursday 21 May 2015

15.29 BST

The Guardian

Polly Toynbee

 

Every new chancellor wants to set their own budget after an election. But George Osborne isn’t a new chancellor. He inherits his own 2015-16 plan, and yet last night he told the Confederation of British Industry he will reopen it to cut more, tearing up every departmental and agency budget after contracts are signed halfway through the year.

A question: what is there in his spending plans that he dared not announce to voters before the election? It was already a piece of remarkable democratic arrogance that David Cameron and Osborne refused to say where the £12bn of benefit cuts would fall – and dereliction on the part of all the broadcasting interviewers not to hammer hard enough on this one point with every minister in their studios so as to force them to reply. But we shall see now, too late, exactly where the axe is falling on all the unprotected departments.

The big question is why? Politically, the promise of a rapid deficit abolition, returning to surplus by April 2018, was a sharp challenge to Labour: beat that! Labour wouldn’t and didn’t because it’s brutal, needless and economically dangerous. Now that Osborne has won, he doesn’t need to do it either. Last time, he missed his target by half. He let the stock of debt rise far higher than it ever was under Labour. And he lost the AAA credit rating without which he said we’d become Greece – but the sky didn’t fall in. Markets would have slaughtered a Labour government for that, but markets forgive Conservatives almost anything. They would worry not one iota if Osborne again decided to slow down. A promise to keep the deficit falling would be ample.

The only reason Osborne is putting his foot on the accelerator is because he wants to and because he can. Who’s going to stop him now? This is a dash to shrink the state, squeeze everything, contract out what can’t be cut and return, as his own Office for Budget Responsibility said, to a prewar, pre-welfare state, bare-bones government. These children of Thatcher are ideologues to the core, often without even knowing it. They have breathed in from infancy a “common sense” assumption that the state is always wasteful, private and market always good, the collective worse than the individualist. As Thatcher said, you will always spend the pound in your pocket better than any government will. Now he tests that – possibly to destruction. All but the NHS, overseas aid and schools will be cut by a third, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Whitehall itself could lose 100,000 staff. Expect more of the west coast mainline contracting-type fiascos as capability is lost just when civil servants need to be canny enough to outwit the gigantic corporations contracting so much.

Politically, within the government, this won’t all be easy either. Such deep cuts suggest state-shrinkers should be amalgamating departments – the Department for Business and Department for Culture, Media & Sport have long been under threat – for example by reuniting the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. But Cameron needs the jobs: patronage is key to keeping his tiny majority happy. How will his party handle deep cuts to defence, already below the 2% of GDP Nato demands? How will Michael Gove and Theresa May cut prisons and police again, as court delays lengthen and prisons burst at the seams? This time, permanent secretaries may be less acquiescent: many should say no, minister to cuts beyond what’s safe or sane. New ministers arriving full of bright ideas will find nothing happens and no one is there when they pull on levers to build the new infrastructure Osborne promises: create new apprenticeships, fix broadband and so on. His northern powerhouse councils may wake up to find that all they have had devolved to them is the axe and the blame – not just for social care but now for the NHS too. This government’s record for competence is slender. Gove’s record in education suggests there is a rhinoceros in a china shop at justice.

A government that has won an unexpected majority, casting its opposition into a state of existential crisis, can do whatever it damn well pleases. Five years is longer ahead than anyone can imagine. Last time, Osborne’s 2010 austerity budget stifled over 1% of growth at a stroke: expect similar results as the same experiment is repeated. Last time one reckless bungle followed another, including the omnishambles budget, forcing U-turns and embarrassments: expect many more in this triumphally reckless mood. Cameron’s government has nothing to fear – except its own errors.

These children of Thatcher are free to cut, cut, cut
– and they’re loving every minute,
G,
21 May 2015,
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/21/
thatcher-cut-george-osborne-david-cameron-welfare-government

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial

Sewing Up the Safety Net

 

November 27, 2008

The New York Times

 

Largely missing from the discussion about the faltering economy is the recession’s impact on the 37 million Americans who are already living at or below the poverty line — and the millions more who will inevitably join their ranks as the downturn worsens.

Poverty and joblessness go hand in hand. If unemployment rises in the coming year from today’s 6.5 percent to 9 percent, as some analysts predict, another 7.5 million to 10.3 million people could become poor, according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The prospect of nearly 50 million Americans in poverty is even more daunting when one considers the holes that have been punched in the safety net over the last quarter-century. Since the Reagan administration, the federal government has steadily reduced its role in curtailing poverty, or even in coordinating state and local efforts to help alleviate it.

Meanwhile, most states reduced or eliminated cash assistance for single poor adults and limited access to food stamps. Stricter eligibility requirements keep thousands of people from collecting jobless benefits. Facing budget deficits, cash-strapped states will be tempted to cut social programs even more. The experience of being poor in America, never easy, will soon become even more difficult for more people — unless Congress boosts food stamps, modernizes the unemployment compensation system and takes other steps to strengthen the ability of the federal and state governments to help the millions who will need assistance.

This is all the more important since the current poverty statistics significantly understate reality. The federal yardstick used to gauge poverty is severely outdated, giving too much weight to some factors in a typical family budget, like the cost of food, and not counting others, like the cost of child care and out-of-pocket medical costs. It also doesn’t consider regional differences in the cost of living and doesn’t include the cost of child care, taxes or the value of noncash benefits such as food stamps or tax credits.

The National Academy of Sciences years ago recommended a new measure of poverty that takes such variables into account. But the revised framework has never been adopted because, among other reasons, it would add several million more people to the ranks of the poor.

If there was ever a time for more precise measurements, it is now. Better numbers will produce a better understanding of poverty, and will enhance Washington’s ability to respond in the difficult days ahead.

Sewing Up the Safety Net,
NYT,
27.11.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/27/
opinion/27thu3.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia

 

UK > welfare > National Health Service (N.H.S.)

 

 

economy, money, taxes,

housing market, shopping,

jobs, unemployment, retirement,

debt, poverty, homelessness

 

 

industry, energy, commodities

 

 

medical bills, medical debt, health care / insurance

 

 

health care / insurance > USA > Obamacare

 

 

health care / insurance > USA > Medicaid

 

 

health care / insurance > USA > Medicare

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > History > 20th century > UK

 

Clement Attlee    1883-1967