POLITICS

States Slashing Social Safety Nets

05/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Battered by the recession and the deepest and most widespread budget deficits in several decades, a large majority of states are slicing into their social safety nets -- often crippling preventive efforts that officials say would save money over time.

President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package is helping to alleviate some of the pain, providing large amounts of money to pay for education and unemployment insurance, bolster food stamp programs and expand tax credits for low earners. But the money will offset only 40 percent of the losses in state revenues, and programs for vulnerable groups have been cut in at least 34 states, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a private research group in Washington.

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