Yesterday, Robert Greenstein appeared on MSNBC’s “ “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to discuss House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Falsely claiming that the nation’s most important anti-hunger program — SNAP, formerly called food stamps — is experiencing “relentless and unsustainable growth,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan calls for converting it into a block grant. The truth is that SNAP’s recent growth is temporary and reflects the battered economic circumstances of tens of millions of Americans due to the recession; SNAP is not contributing to the nation’s long-term fiscal problem. And block-granting SNAP would largely destroy its ability to respond to rising need during future recessions, forcing states to cut benefits or create waiting lists for needy families.
Stacy Dean, Vice President for Food Assistance Policy, and Dottie Rosenbaum, Senior Policy Analyst, discuss improving the delivery of key work supports:
The legislation that Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced this week to limit total federal spending to 20.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product includes a new “sequestration” process — automatic spending cuts if the spending limit is exceeded — that has some features in common with those now used to enforce the pay-as-you-go law and that were part of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings (GRH) law in the late 1980s. But the McCaskill-Corker sequestration is dramatically different in one key respect — it would potentially impose big cuts in entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Last night, the Center’s Executive Director, Robert Greenstein, discussed the forthcoming debate over severe spending cuts proposed by the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives with Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute on PBS’ NewsHour. Watch here:
Some 43 million Americans are receiving help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) to afford a nutritionally adequate diet, according to the latest Agriculture Department figures. That works out to 1 in 7 Americans — and 1 in every 4 children. And the need for SNAP isn’t likely to decline significantly anytime soon, given the nation’s large jobs deficit.
Our analysis of data that the Census Bureau released this week shows that the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was one of the single most effective pieces of antipoverty legislation in decades. In 2009, the Recovery Act’s temporary expansion of the safety net kept 4.5 million people out of poverty.
With the approach of the holidays, a time when Americans come together with family and friends to share the blessings of life, we thought that we’d take a moment to focus on those who are not quite so lucky by providing a snapshot of poverty and hardship in the United States. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are having trouble affording basic necessities. Below are the most current figures available in five important areas.
The child nutrition bill that President Obama signed this morning includes an important new option that will allow thousands of schools in high-poverty areas to focus on feeding children rather than processing paperwork. This is a terrific opportunity for states to serve more low-income children through the school meals program.