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Posts by Isaac Shapiro

The Myth of the Exploding Safety Net

May 22, 2017

Total spending for mandatory federal low-income programs outside health care is only modestly above its average over the past 40 years. 

In Focus: Low-Income Mandatory Expenditures Outside Health Care Will Fall Below Average of Last 40 Years

Trump Plans Big Federal Workforce Cuts, But Workforce Already at Record Lows, Undermining Basic Services

March 14, 2017

President Trump plans to propose large cuts in the number of federal employees, news reports suggest, even though...

Civilian Federal Employment at Historically Low Level

Even Before Trump Cut, U.S. Lags Comparable Countries In Providing Development Aid

February 28, 2017

President Trump’s plan to cut foreign aid and development assistance deeply to help pay for higher defense spending is unwarranted: the relatively modest U.S. spending on Official Development Assistance (ODA) — which comprises most U.S. foreign aid — already lags...

E Pluribis Unum Budget

State Data on Safety Net’s Impact, in One Place

August 29, 2016

We’ve posted a spreadsheet, courtesy of our Excel whiz Rebecca Portman, with all the data that we used in our new state fact sheets on the safety net’s impact.  It contains information for every...

In Focus: Safety Net State Fact Sheets

The Safety Net’s Impact: A State-by-State Look

August 2, 2016

Our new state-by-state fact sheets on the safety net’s impact show that, in every state, programs assisting low-income Americans lift large numbers of people above the poverty line and provide health coverage to a large share of children.  The fact sheets illustrate that:

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In Focus: Safety Net State Fact Sheets

House Bill Would Undercut FCC Effort to Promote Upward Mobility

June 20, 2016

Just two weeks after House Republicans released their poverty plan with the principle that all “should have the chance to make the most of our lives” and “break free” from poverty, they’ve proposed legislation that would do the opposite.  Among other impacts, the bill, scheduled...


Trump and Cruz Tax Cuts: Millionaires Gain Trillions While Low-, Middle-Income People Lose

April 28, 2016

At a time of exceptionally wide income inequality, the tax-cut proposals from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would produce extremely large and unprecedented windfalls for people with at least $1 million a year in income, almost certainly at the expense of low- and middle-income households — to the tune of trillions of dollars — if budget cuts to pay for the tax cuts are taken into account, as we...

Tax Cuts Under Trump and Cruz Would Disproportionately Benefit Millionaires

House Republican Budget Cuts Low- and Moderate-Income Programs by Two-Fifths by 2026

March 28, 2016

The House Republican budget, which could come to the House floor in April, would prove especially harmful to low- and moderate-income families and individuals, cutting programs for such people by an unprecedented amount while taking a strikingly unbalanced approach to deficit reduction, as we explain in a ...


Broadband Proposal Would Expand Opportunity for Low-Income Americans

March 11, 2016

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote March 31 on a new proposal from the FCC’s chairman and a fellow commissioner to expand broadband Internet access among low-income households.  It would modernize FCC’s “Lifeline” program, which provides low-income households with monthly subsidies to help...

Stock Market

Ryan Work Disincentive Claim Doesn’t Square With New CBO Figures

December 4, 2015

House Speaker Paul Ryan argued yesterday that the safety net is “trapping people in poverty,” suggesting that a single mother with one child working at the minimum wage loses 80 or 90 cents in higher taxes and lower benefits for each additional dollar she earns.  He then called for...

Workers Factory Line