Understanding Poverty and the Safety Net

Greenstein: Chairman Ryan Needs to Play it Straight on Poverty Programs

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will unveil a proposal tomorrow to address poverty and, in doing so, faces a choice: play it straight in making the case for his plan, or succumb to the temptation to mischaracterize key poverty data and research to paint the safety net as an abject failure. Read more

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Deep Poverty Among Children Worsened in Welfare Law’s First Decade

Since the mid-1990s, when policymakers made major changes in the public assistance system, the proportion of children living in poverty has declined, but the harshest extremes of child poverty have increased.

After correcting for the well-known underreporting of safety net benefits in the Census data, we estimate that the share of children in deep poverty — with family income below half of the poverty line — rose from 2.1 percent to 3.0 percent between 1995 and 2005. The number of children in deep poverty climbed from 1.5 million to 2.2 million. Read more

Related: Why the 1996 Welfare Law Is Not a Model for Other Safety-Net Programs

 

Issues Facing Congress

House Child Tax Credit Bill Leaves Behind Millions of Low-Income Working Families

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) legislation that the House is slated to consider this week has misguided priorities: it would make many relatively affluent families better off while letting millions of low-income working families become poorer. Read more

Related: House Should Reject Backwards Child Tax Credit Bill

 

Signs of Momentum on Corporate Inversions

As the current uptick in inversions shows, corporate tax lawyers have found ways around the 2004 anti-inversion provisions. Policymakers should approve legislation that strengthens the bipartisan response from a decade ago — and soon. Waiting for corporate or international tax reform will only invite more tax avoidance-driven corporate exits. Read more

Related: Congress Should Promptly Enact Legislation to Help Close Tax-Driven Corporate “Inversions” Loophole

 

More: Poverty and Income analyses

Understanding Disability Insurance

Chart Book: Social Security Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance (DI) is an integral part of Social Security. It provides modest but vital benefits to workers who can no longer support themselves on account of a serious and long-lasting medical impairment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the DI program.

The following charts provide important background information about Social Security Disability Insurance.

Part I: Why Is Social Security Disability Insurance Important?
Part II: Why Have the DI Rolls Grown?
Part III: Who Receives DI?
Part IV: What Financing Issues Does DI Face?

Related: Congress Needs to Boost Disability Insurance Share of Payroll Tax by 2016

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