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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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| By CBPP

This week at CBPP we focused on poverty, the federal budget and taxes, Social Security, housing, health care, food assistance, and the economy.

  • On poverty, we previewed the House GOP poverty plan released June 7 and Robert Greenstein explained that the evidence on welfare reform and the safety net contradicts the plan’s likely assumptions.  Upon its release, Greenstein responded that the effort to foster debate on poverty was welcome but the plan itself would likely do more harm than good.  He also contrasted House Republicans’ vows to fight poverty with their budget, which would decimate anti-poverty spending.  LaDonna Pavetti examined the research on work requirements in safety net programs, concluding that they do little to reduce poverty and sometimes push families deeper into it.  Isaac Shapiro explained that under current poverty programs, it pays to work, despite House Republicans’ contentions.  Liz Schott listed six reasons why the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant isn’t a useful model for other safety net programs.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, David Reich exposed a backdoor effort in the House to raise defense spending and thus violate a key principle of last year’s bipartisan budget agreement:  to provide equal sequestration relief for defense and non-defense.  Chad Stone explained that a House resolution critical of a carbon tax sharply contrasts with the findings of knowledgeable scientists and economists.  Chuck Marr urged the House Appropriations Committee to restore much-needed IRS funding.
  • On Social Security, Kathleen Romig cautioned that a Senate bill would continue squeezing the operating budget of the Social Security Administration, which faces a record workload as the baby boomers age into their peak years for retirement and disability.
  • On housing, we updated our chart book showing that federal housing spending is poorly matched to need.
  • On health care, Jesse Cross-Call warned that repealing health reform’s Medicaid expansion would reverse the law’s progress in promoting work.  Hannah Katch listed ways that Medicaid can help protect millions of Americans from the Zika virus.  Edwin Park urged Congress to address Puerto Rico’s Medicaid funding shortfall.
  • On food assistance, Stacy Dean testified before a House hearing on improving program integrity in SNAP (formerly food stamps) without weakening its success.
  • On the economy, Jared Bernstein testified before a House hearing on the Administration’s new overtime rule.  We updated our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession.

Chart of the Week: Most Cash Assistance Recipients Worked Regardless of Work Requirements

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

Falling Social Security service: you don’t get what you pay for
Washington Post
June 10, 2016

Paul Ryan's "why don't you get a job" approach to poverty is doomed to fail
Vox
June 9, 2016

Paul Ryan's favorite poverty talking point debunked
Politico
June 7, 2016

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