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Understanding Marginal Tax Rates and Government Benefits

July 22, 2014

Some Washington policymakers are increasingly focused on whether government benefits for low- and moderate-income people create disincentives to work — in particular, when these benefits phase down as the earnings of beneficiaries rise, our new commentary notes.  That phase-down rate is often called the “marginal tax rate”...

House Cuts in Census Funding Would Carry a Heavy Cost

June 3, 2014

The House voted shortsightedly to cut $238 million from the Census Bureau’s budget for fiscal year 2015 relative to the President’s request.  Although the House funding level is $28.5 million more than last year’s Census budget, it’s far from enough to cover the cost of preparing for the 2020 census and the closely related annual American Community Survey (ACS).  The Senate, which will prepare...

Improving the Odds for America’s Children

April 21, 2014

The safety net has been more effective than critics suggest, the Center’s Robert Greenstein, Sharon Parrott, and I explain in a chapter for Improving the Odds for America’s Children, which Harvard Education Press has just published.

For our chapter, we reviewed the last 40...

Ryan Report Largely Ignores Anti-Poverty Programs’ Long-Term Successes

March 28, 2014

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s recent poverty report largely ignores evidence that anti-poverty programs can open doors of opportunity and yield lasting benefits for participants and society as a whole — even when this evidence comes from the same researchers whom the report cites for other purposes.

Here...

Emergency Jobless Benefits Cut-Off Has Hit Nearly 200,000 Veterans and Counting

February 28, 2014

Close to 200,000 veterans are among the 2 million unemployed workers who’ve lost access to federal jobless benefits since Congress allowed Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to expire at the end of last year, CBPP estimates.

EUC provided additional weeks of unemployment benefits to people who were unable to find a new job before exhausting their regular state benefits, which run...

Why a Higher Minimum Wage Is a Net Win for Most Income Groups

February 20, 2014

Here’s a point about the minimum wage that hasn’t received enough attention: A rise to $10.10, from the current $7.25, raises average incomes for roughly the bottom half of all Americans — those with incomes up to $72,300 for a family of four, according to the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on such a proposal.

Yes, as widely reported, CBO estimates...

2009 Recovery Act Kept Millions out of Poverty

February 18, 2014

The Washington Post points out that the 2009 Recovery Act, signed five years ago yesterday, accomplished much more than its critics acknowledge.  When it comes to using the safety net to keep people out of poverty, for example, the Recovery Act was probably the...

The Safety Net Provides a Long-Lasting Boost

January 10, 2014

Child poverty has fallen over the last five decades, as we explained earlier and illustrate in our new chart book.  Those improvements have lasting effects:  researchers are finding that the same safety net programs that have...

A War on Poverty Success: Safety Net Cuts Child Poverty

January 9, 2014

The child poverty rate fell from 29 percent in 1967 to 19 percent in 2012, according to data from researchers at Columbia University. A key reason: the safety net became increasingly effective at lifting children out of poverty, as we...

The War on Poverty at 50: Illustrating the Safety Net’s Success

January 7, 2014

The safety net, which is rooted in President Johnson’s War on Poverty and later expanded, helps millions of people make ends meet and access affordable health care, as we show in the third installment of our new chart book.

Today’s...

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