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July 11, 2024

Exploring Trends in Food Bank Use

Business Insider wrote in early 2023 that food banks are “bracing themselves for an onslaught” of increased demand. Later that year, Bloomberg reported that “lines stretch down the block at food banks.” And two months ago, CNN noted that the “share of people turning to hunger relief programs remains higher than it was prior to…

May 8, 2024

USDA Report Highlights Subjectivity of Food Insecurity Measure

Every year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases a report detailing the share of US households who are “food insecure”—defined as those that have “limited or uncertain access to adequate food” due to insufficient resources. Last month, the USDA released a report combining six years of data (2016-2021) to show how food insecurity rates…

March 4, 2024

Social conservatives who care about marriage should think twice about a “per-child” refundable Child Tax Credit

The United States Senate is currently debating H.R. 7024, a House-passed bill that would modify the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in several ways. One of the most consequential changes would increase the rate at which the refundable portion of the credit phases in, from the current 15% rate applied to all families to 15% times…

February 27, 2024

Options for Improving the Child Tax Credit Provisions in H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024, passed the House on January 31, 2024 and now faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. The bill is intended to offer something for both Republicans and Democrats—business tax cuts and an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). But this bargain—which…

January 31, 2024

The Wyden-Smith Child Tax Credit and Work: Responding to Critics

The Wyden-Smith tax bill under consideration in the House has rekindled a debate about the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and work incentives. We, along with our colleagues, Angela Rachidi and Matt Weidinger, recently released an analysis of the incentives built into one overlooked feature of the CTC reforms proposed in the bill—the so-called “look-back” provision….

December 11, 2023

Has Inequality Made Americans Poorer than Bulgarians, Russians, and Filipinos?

A recent column by John Burn-Murdoch in the Financial Times presents statistics side-by-side showing that “the wealthiest Americans are the richest people in the developed world, but America’s poorest are also the most likely to go hungry.” The chart buttressing the latter part of that conclusion shows that in over 12 percent of American households,…

October 5, 2023

Do 60 Percent Of American Workers Have Insecure Jobs?

American Compass has a new survey out in which it finds, among other results, that “only 40 percent of workers have secure jobs.” This is the latest attempt by the outfit to portray the American economy as in dire need of “rebuilding.” The report summarizing the findings is titled, “Labor Market Not Yet Working for…

October 5, 2023

Changing the Official Poverty Measure Would Help Rich States and Hurt Poor States

In this post I discuss the policy implications of declaring the Supplemental Poverty Measure the new official measure, an action that could be taken unilaterally by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget without any input from Congress. First, I report how eligibility for major means-tested programs would substantially rise in higher income…

September 15, 2023

Putting This Year’s Poverty Numbers in Context

On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released its latest income and poverty estimates covering calendar year 2022, including two assessments of poverty in America. One, called the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), focuses on earnings and cash-like government benefits, such as Social Security, unemployment, and welfare checks. A second, known as the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), also…