Understanding Poverty and the Safety Net

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

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s upcoming poverty plan will likely showcase the 1996 welfare law, which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — a block grant with fixed federal funding but broad state flexibility — as a model for reforming other safety net programs.  A careful examination of the record, however, indicates that the 1996 law’s results were mixed and that if the goal is to reduce poverty, especially among the most disadvantaged families and children, there are serious downsides to embracing the 1996 law as a model.  Read more

Related: Commentary: Ryan Report Distorts Safety Net’s Picture

 

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

Health Reform

Conflicting Court Decisions Won’t Affect Federal Marketplace Subsidies

In a unanimous decision, a panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court decision finding that individuals are eligible for premium subsidies to purchase health insurance through the federal marketplace, just as they can in state-based marketplaces.  In a 2-1 decision that has received considerably more media attention, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling and ruled that premium subsidies can be used to purchase coverage only through state-run marketplaces, and not through the federal marketplace.  What do these decisions really mean? Read more

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