safety-net

No, we don’t spend $1 trillion on welfare each year

Dissecting a common talking point about the war on poverty.

  • Mike Konczal
  • ·
  • Jan 12, 2014
  • ·

Economists agree: Raising the minimum wage reduces poverty

Economists disagree on lots of things about the minimum wage. Except this point.

  • Mike Konczal
  • ·
  • Jan 4, 2014
  • ·

Unemployment benefits for 1.3 million expire Saturday. Here’s why.

A primer on what this emergency unemployment program is, why it's shrinking, and what the arguments for and against renewing it are.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Dec 26, 2013
  • ·

Unemployment benefits for 1.3 million expire Saturday. Here’s why.

A primer on what this emergency unemployment program is, why it's shrinking, and what the arguments for and against renewing it are.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Dec 23, 2013
  • ·

Here’s how the safety net has — and hasn’t — reduced poverty in the U.S.

A new study finds that the safety net has cut the poverty rate for seniors and children significantly since 1967. Yet poverty for working-age adults has barely budged.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Dec 10, 2013
  • ·

Where will workers go after their jobless benefits expire? Probably not on disability.

A new study finds that Americans aren't going on disability when their unemployment insurance expires.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Dec 3, 2013
  • ·

This Georgia hospital shows why rejecting Medicaid isn’t easy.

Grady Hospital in Atlanta shows the challenges awaiting safety net hospitals in states that do not expand Medicaid.

  • Max Blau
  • ·
  • Jun 26, 2013
  • ·

Senior poverty is much worse than you think

The official poverty measure says 9 percent of seniors are in poverty. But an arguably superior metric puts it considerably higher.

  • Dylan Matthews
  • ·
  • May 20, 2013
  • ·

The case for expanding Social Security, not cutting it

New America Foundation is proposing a big new expansion of Social Security, instead of the usual ideas for cuts. Why? The existing retirement system is broken.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Apr 3, 2013
  • ·

The simple, boring reason why disability insurance has exploded

There are now roughly 8.8 million Americans receiving federal disability benefits, a number that has doubled since 1995. One big reason? Simple demographics.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Apr 1, 2013
  • ·

Five ways to reform Social Security Disability Insurance

NPR has brought attention to potential problems with the nation's most important safety net for the disabled. How can they be fixed?

  • Dylan Matthews
  • ·
  • Mar 29, 2013
  • ·

WonkTalk: Does disability insurance need reform?

Dylan Matthews and I discuss a recent This American Life story about the growth of America's disability insurance program, which now costs $260 billion a year.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Mar 28, 2013
  • ·

Harold Pollack: What ‘This American Life’ missed on disability insurance

Putting the extraordinary growth of America's disability insurance system -- which now costs some $260 billion per year -- in context.

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Mar 28, 2013
  • ·

Paul Ryan: Welfare reform can be a model for the rest of the safety net

In his budget, Paul Ryan wants to use the 1996 welfare reform law as a model for Medicaid and food stamps. So how would that work?

  • Brad Plumer
  • ·
  • Mar 12, 2013
  • ·

How to design the perfect welfare system

For stingy countries, public works programs tend to be more effective than just handing out cash. The operative word, of course, is "tend".

  • Dylan Matthews
  • ·
  • Jan 7, 2013
  • ·

Yes, the government wants to get more people on food stamps

More than a quarter of the people who are eligible for food stamps don't sign up, and the elderly are among the least likely to participate.

  • Suzy Khimm
  • ·
  • Jun 27, 2012
  • ·