Posts by Kathryn Baer
So the Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal to extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits — defying predictions of another cliffhanger or worse.
Also extended, as you’ve probably read, were the employee payroll tax cut and the “doc fix” to avert huge cuts in Medicare reimbursements. As you may not have read, some programs for low-income people got a new, temporary lease on life as well.
In 2008, Children’s HealthWatch and partners reported on a unique study aimed at finding out whether food stamp benefits enable low-income families to buy what they need for a healthy diet. Now we’ve got a followup.
The answer now, as before is no. And though the followup was conducted only in Philadelphia, the findings are generally applicable to other urban areas, including the District of Columbia.
This year’s State of Homelessness report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) presents, in some ways, a rosier picture than last year’s. Big headline is that homelessness decreased between 2009 and 2011 — not only the overall rate, but the rates for people in families, veterans and the chronically homeless, i.e., individuals with disabilities, including [...]
Huffington Post blogger Dan Morgan looks back nearly 50 years to tell us what poverty was like in his early reporting days.
This is an important, timely post because it reminds us of how poor people lived — and died — before the creation of today’s safety net.
Here in the District of Columbia, Morgan found “people living in basement apartments with dirt floors. Many were hungry, cold and short of coal for stoves. Some children were staying home because they had no shoes.”
Some Capitol Hill staffers and other interested parties, including yours truly, got an earful on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from experts who know it well — five current and former “welfare mothers.”
As I’ve mentioned before, TANF is overdue for reauthorization, i.e., a thoroughgoing review and revision of the law that allows the federal government to spend money on the program and establishes its basic rules.
Huffington Post blogger Arthur Delaney has been hammering on an important fact about the just-passed temporary extension of long-term unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. It won’t fully extend benefits for everyone who’s getting them now.
By the time the temporary extension expires, workers in 11 states will have lost their benefits, he writes, even though they won’t have reached the maximum they’d have been entitled to in early December.
The latest Census reports sparked a lot of media attention to poverty in America — the issue’s annual 15 minutes of fame.
No surprise to anyone that the poverty rate rose last year — even when measured by the very low poverty thresholds based on food costs.
Safety nets are supposed to catch people when they fall so they don’t crash to the ground. So too with what we call safety net programs. We have created them so that people don’t land in desperate poverty. We’d thus expect safety net programs to catch more people when the economy tanks, as it did [...]
Back in February, DC Councilmembers Jim Graham and Michael Brown introduced a bill that would, among other things, give us a better fix on who is homeless in the District and what services are — and ought to be — available for them.
Nothing’s happened with the bill, so far as I can tell, since the hearing in June.
But something has happened to address the main focus of the hearing — unaccompanied homeless youth.
I’m not acutely distressed by the fact that Super Committee members couldn’t cut a deal.
The Democrats had moved so far to the right that whatever deal got enough Republicans on board would probably have been worse than the automatic spending cuts the no-deal will trigger — assuming Congress lets them happen.
In one respect, however, the stalemate disappoints me.