This week on Off the Charts, we wrote about poverty, state budget shortfalls, health reform, Social Security, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
- On poverty, Arloc Sherman explained that deep poverty rose sharply in the recent recession, and he discussed the implications for children and families.
- On state budget shortfalls, Elizabeth McNichol noted that while state revenues may be stabilizing, they remain far below the levels needed simply to maintain public services at their current levels. She also explained how the Center calculates state budget shortfalls.
- On health reform, Edwin Park discussed an important move by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to help children with pre-existing medical conditions obtain health insurance.
- On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing clarified that although Social Security benefits will not increase next year, the program is continuing to protect beneficiaries against the effects of inflation.
- On TANF, Liz Schott demonstrated that benefits have failed to keep pace with rising costs and do not provide enough for families to meet basic needs.
In other news, the Center released a report on TANF benefit levels across the country and a podcast on deep poverty.