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Social Safety Net

The Least Financially Secure Americans Are Barely Being Heard At The Ballot Box

The Huffington Post | Ariel Edwards-Levy | Posted 01.08.2015 | Politics

America's most economically vulnerable are also the least likely to vote, according to a new Pew Research report. The analysis divides Americans in...

Is Being a Bad Parent a Crime?

Eliot Borenstein | Posted 11.18.2014 | Parents
Eliot Borenstein

Holding parents criminally responsible would constitute bad legislation, even worse public policy, and a distressing sign that we as a country have completely failed to understand the relationships among individuals, families, and public institutions.

Will Congressman Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan Heed the Advice of the Experts and Break With the GOP Budget?

Rep. Chris Van Hollen | Posted 09.22.2014 | Politics
Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Tomorrow, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will present his proposal to address poverty in the United States. We welcome any ideas that lift more Americans out of poverty and create pathways into the middle class, but we will oppose any plan that uses the sunny language of "reform" as a guise to cut vital safety-net programs.

The Social Immune System

Robert Koehler | Posted 07.22.2014 | Politics
Robert Koehler

Socially, we're stuck in a system of profit (private prisons, for instance) and waste (human lives). We're stuck in a society with a defective immune system, and reaping the consequences.

The Contraceptive Mandate Finally Leads America Out of the Victorian Era

Ellen Chesler | Posted 06.24.2014 | Politics
Ellen Chesler

The Affordable Care Act demonstrates an affirmative, proactive step from government for women's access to reproductive health care, but conservatives are bent on moving backwards.

How One Boomer Transitioned From Prison To Philanthropy

John Tarnoff | Posted 06.22.2014 | Fifty
John Tarnoff

Personal reinvention can be achieved through service to others. This is Susan Burton's experience, and hers is an inspiring story of determination and dedication. As an African-American woman from South Central Los Angeles, Burton was incarcerated six times over 20 years for drug-related offenses. Her young son had died accidentally, and the system seemed to be working against her at every turn.

Stress, Fear, and the Changing Face of Poverty

K. Ford K. | Posted 06.08.2014 | Politics
K. Ford K.

The worst thing about being poor is the fear. It's the fear of not being able to afford a place to live. It's the fear of not being able to go to the doctor, buy medicine, or put gas in the car. It's the fear of never being able to hold our heads up high again.

A Dozen Things South of Normal in America

Lori Day | Posted 04.27.2014 | Politics
Lori Day

Once in a while, when I least expect it, a window cracks open in my mind and I suddenly see that some news story, some political event, or some aspect...

The War on Poverty Gave Me a Chance at Success

Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq. | Posted 03.11.2014 | Impact
Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.

President Johnson died in 1973, a year before I was born, but his legacy of the War on Poverty gave millions of children like me a chance to live a better life. Poverty has not been solved but millions of lives have been enriched because of these government programs and that is a legacy to be proud of.

50 Years Since LBJ's War on Poverty: A New Battle Cry

Rep. Gwen Moore | Posted 03.08.2014 | Politics
Rep. Gwen Moore

I hope we all take a moment, on this 50th anniversary, to recall that once upon a time, our political leaders proudly worked to end poverty -- instead of proudly campaigning on promises to erode anti-poverty programs. We must reawaken our desire to help those in need and open our eyes to the reality of life for the poor.

Economic Inequality: When Is Enough Enough?

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 02.16.2014 | Business
Warren J. Blumenfeld

While economic disparities plague all of the nations across the planet, nowhere are these disparities more extreme than in the United States, and so I ask, when is enough enough?

Can You Feed a Family on Less Than $7.42?

Sid Mohn | Posted 01.25.2014 | Chicago
Sid Mohn

As a nation that values hard work, determination, and climbing the rungs into success and independence, cutting funds for the safety net that makes those first steps possible is not only against our values, it's cruel.

The Roots of Paul Ryan's Rage

Sean McElwee | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Sean McElwee

Conservative and libertarian arguments about social spending are rooted in the discredited Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner.

Block a Grand Bargain With Bold Progressive Solutions to Social Security and Medicare

Richard Kirsch | Posted 12.21.2013 | Business
Richard Kirsch

Republicans may not have succeeded in defunding the nations' newest social insurance program, Obamacare, but they now are aiming at the foundational programs, Social Security and Medicare. And this time, they'll have the president on their side.

Jason Cherkis

'What Do We Need To Get Congress Fired Up Enough To Think Of These Families?' | Jason Cherkis | Posted 10.04.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- As she drove along the outskirts of Tallahassee, Fla., on Thursday, Kim Maxwell, 38, became overwhelmed with emotions. It had been nearl...

My Story of Childhood Hunger: From Hungry to Lawyer

Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq. | Posted 11.30.2013 | Impact
Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.

Hunger limits you in a way that is difficult to describe because you are constantly thinking about getting food, keeping food and not knowing when you are going to eat next.

Washington's Food Stamp Debate Gets Personal In Hawaii

Civil Beat | Kery Murakami | Posted 09.24.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A confrontation looms over food stamps. This is a sensitive issue for Hawaii. The number of food stamp recipients here has nea...

What We Need & What We Do Not Need: Cliff Notes to Political, Social, and Moral Success

Leslie K. Stein | Posted 11.09.2013 | Politics
Leslie K. Stein

We need to start at the beginning. Support our children. Educate all children. Rework the justice system. Help those who make small mistakes to atone for them and reintegrate successfully into society, rather than losing them into the system.

Threatening to 'Reform' the Earned Income Tax Credit

Jared Bernstein | Posted 10.07.2013 | Politics
Jared Bernstein

The more I hang around the DC tax debate, the more I'm exposed to deeply misguided thinking that seems largely motivated by the conviction that poor people -- in this case, the working poor -- have too much money and the wealthy have too little.

What About the State of Children Living Outside the Womb?

Ellen Magnis | Posted 10.06.2013 | Impact
Ellen Magnis

No matter what your position is on the highly complex and deeply personal subject of abortion, I just have to know: Why do we seem to care so much about fetuses but then not so much after the big birth event?

Ariel Edwards-Levy

Cantor Looks To Entitlement Cuts For Sequester Compromise | Ariel Edwards-Levy | Posted 08.15.2014 | Politics

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Sunday that Republicans might be willing to compromise on sequester cuts in exchange for talks on reduc...

Austerity Is a Political Loser for Either Party

Joseph A. Palermo | Posted 07.09.2013 | Politics
Joseph A. Palermo

Even a minimal "vision" of an America that can still accomplish something would appear to be far more uplifting than the austerity snake oil the current crop of Republican politicians keep pushing.

President Obama, Set A Goal To End Hunger

David Beckmann | Posted 03.17.2013 | Politics
David Beckmann

As we gear up for more deficit-reduction negotiations and potential across-the-board cuts to vital safety-net programs, our charge to President Obama is that he work with Congress to reduce the deficit in a way that strengthens protections around programs vital to vulnerable people.

Why We Don't Need A Second 'War On Poverty' (At Least Not Now)

Elizabeth Rigby | Posted 03.17.2013 | Politics
Elizabeth Rigby

We don't need a national discourse on poverty but a shift in attention away from disadvantage toward an examination of the concentrated advantages provided to those already flourishing in our society. It then becomes clear that it is not only poverty but inequality that plagues the poor.

Don't Forget: Protect the Poorest Americans in Any Deficit Savings 'Backstop'

James R. Horney | Posted 02.20.2013 | Politics
James R. Horney

In designing automatic across-the-board spending cuts, policymakers will face a decision that's received little attention of late: whether to continue a quarter-century tradition of protecting low-income programs or risk serious harm to the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.