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November 20, 2023

The Next Time States Are “Swimming in Money” Make Them Repay Their Federal Loans

The pandemic was full of firsts, including the first time states received hundreds of billions of federal dollars they could use to shore up their depleted state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. The March 2020 CARES Act provided $150 billion in a flexible “Coronavirus Relief Fund,” whose potential uses included covering states’ “unemployment insurance costs.” Then the March 2021 American…

October 25, 2023

Dispelling Myths About The Child Tax Credit

Every culture has its famous myths, such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, and the world of politics is no different. Take, for example, President Joe Biden’s claims that he is a unifier or that ” Bidenomics” is working . The president offered another mythical claim last month when he said that “we cut child poverty by nearly half ……

October 17, 2023

Understanding Poverty Measurement

COSM scholars and AEI affiliates include some of the nation’s foremost experts on poverty measurement. On October 17, COSM gathered several of these scholars to provide a primer on opportunity in the United States. Angela Rachidi began by exploring the meaning of poverty, outlining the most fundamental decisions in measuring it and describing how different…

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…

December 9, 2022

“Automatic Stimulus”: How It Would Have Increased the Record Unemployment Benefits Paid During the Great Recession and Pandemic

Key Points Read the PDF. Executive Summary The COVID-19 pandemic saw unemployment claims reach a high of over 33 million in June 2020—over two and a half times the prior record set during the Great Recession. From March 2020 until temporary federal programs expired in September 2021, nearly 1.6 billion weeks of benefit checks were…

September 21, 2022

Lessons from the Unprecedented Fraud and Abuse of the Unemployment Benefits System During the Pandemic

Chairman DeSaulnier, Ranking Member Allen, and other members of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, thank you for inviting me to testify at this morning’s hearing examining the administration of the Unemployment Insurance system. My name is Matt Weidinger, and I am a senior fellow and Rowe Scholar in poverty studies at the…

July 2, 2021

Addressing the Shortcomings of the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Key Points Read the PDF. Executive Summary The US Census Bureau publishes the Supplemen­tal Poverty Measure (SPM) each year to provide important information on low-income Americans’ well-being. In early 2021, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) panel formed to evaluate and recommend improve­ments to the SPM. To inform the NASEM panel and…