Posts tagged ‘Workers’

The Big Losers Of 2013


The Big Losers Of 2013

biggest losers 2013

WASHINGTON — Some people are losers because they have failed in their endeavors; others are losers because they’ve suffered misfortune. Here are HuffPost’s favorite losers of the year, in no particular order.

James Clapper — The intel honcho oversaw one of the greatest losses of intelligence in U.S. history and was also caught lying to Congress. He still has his job somehow, but otherwise he likely wants to forget 2013.

james clapper

Grand Bargaineers — This year saw the death of the Grand Bargain and the rise of the Petite Bargain. Henceforth, Barack Obama and John Boehner will have to find some other way to cut Social Security. Maya MacGuinneas, the head of Fix the Debt, raised tens of millions of corporate dollars to pressure Washington into a grand bargain, but began the year on the losing end of the “fiscal” cliff deal and ended it completely marginalized, with everyone from all sides dismissing the group’s central aim. Biggest loser runner-up in the deficit scold category is Peter Peterson, the private equity billionaire who funded much of MacGuinneas’ failed effort.

debt(via Dave Weigel)Fix The Debt’s can that kicks back is on its way to the recycle bin of history.

Ted Cruz — The Texas GOP senator’s vaunted strategy to foil Obamacare shut down the government, but did not foil Obamacare.

ted cruz

Pine Trees — Warmer weather allowed the mountain pine beetle to continue to gorge itself on Western forests. It’s just one of the many plagues that climate change is visiting upon the globe.

Bigots — Gay people have been getting married left and right; the sky hasn’t fallen.

Pizza

Mmmhmm.

Voters — The Supreme Court struck down part of a landmark civil rights law that protected voting rights for minorities, with Chief Justice John Roberts arguing that racism is over. Southern states immediately began passing laws intended to block minorities from voting.

Judgmental Catholics — Pope Francis said an amazing thing: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Indeed.

Pizza

Workers — The year started with shrunken paychecks thanks to the expiration of a 2 percent Social Security payroll tax cut, which essentially wiped out wage gains for millions. Then, Black Friday canceled Thanksgiving.

Dan Snyder — His Washington, D.C., football team began the year with its star quarterback’s tragic knee injury in the playoffs. Then, everyone started talking about the team’s racist name again, and Snyder trotted out a fake chief. Then, the team lost most of its games in the new season, and the organization is closing the year in hopelessness and disarray.

rg

The Washington Department of Football’s season in a nutshell.

Gun Control Advocates — How many mass shootings does it take to get to the hearts of gun lobbyists? The world may never know.

The Long-Term Unemployed — Congress had already shortened the duration of unemployment benefits available to the long-term unemployed, but people like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) still beat them up for receiving 99 weeks of aid. On Dec. 28, extra benefits will disappear altogether.

Rand Paul — Soso much plagiarism.

rand paul

People on Food Stamps — Republicans spent the summer claiming food stamp recipients are lazy surfers who use their benefits for sushi and lobster. Then in the fall, Democrats cut their assistance by $5 billion. Experts say it was the first-ever month-to-month drop in benefit amounts.

Third Way — Took on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Whoops.

Women in North Dakota, Arkansas, Texas — These states passed harsh abortion restrictions as part of a lesser-known Obamacare backlash. Reproductive freedom advocates in Texas had state Sen. Wendy Davis to thank for her filibustering high point, though a few weeks later Texas passed its unconstitutional abortion bill anyway. But we’ll always have that night.

Anthony Weiner — For a minute there he was actually winning the New York mayor’s race, despite being a serial sext offender. Then he flipped the bird and conceded he is an empty, soulless vessel.

Detroit Civil Servants — Because Detroit’s public employees have it so good, thevampire squid is sucking blood from their pensions.

Trey Radel — Florida man busted for cocaine possession. This time he also happened to be a GOP congressman.

Undocumented Immigrants — They’re being detained and deported at record rates, the president’s way of showing he’s tough on enforcement so Republicans will join him in reforming the system. Instead, reform went nowhere in 2013. People just got the stick.

Barack Obama — The signature achievement of his first term has badly underperformed in a big year, and the president’s “you can keep it” promise proved false. Despite his best efforts to prosecute leakers, a leaker exposed the administration’s extremely vast and creepy and probably unconstitutional surveillance activities. And his approval ratings, those aren’t so hot right now.

barack obama

Kim Jong Un’s Uncle — If you were the uncle of a 30-year-old North Korean dictator, this was not your year.

Federal Workers — President Obama earlier implemented a pay freeze to show how tough he is on spending and then spent the next several years being dubbed a big spender. After that thankless sacrifice, federal workers were furloughed in 2013, and the latest budget deal asks them to give up some of their pensions so we can keep tax rates low. We can’t think of a better way to manage employee morale and attract and retain top-quality talent.

Marco Rubio — The rising Republican star and Florida senator abandoned what could have been his first big legislative achievement. We don’t understand the long game here — the man wants to be president and he’s slowly losing his hair! Americans haven’t elected a bald president since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s … and that guy had won World War II.

America — My God, what a year.

amerca

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Federal Reserve Decides to Cut Stimulus Program


Federal Reserve Decides to Cut Stimulus Program

Ben Bernanke

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it plans to scale back its massive program of bond-buying to stimulate the economy, defying economists’ expectations that it would maintain current policy at least until after the New Year.

The central bank’s Open Market Committee said it would cut the bond-buying program by $10 billion to $75 million, an action known as tapering. Stocks surged after the announcement, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 272 points, or about 1.7 percent for the day, late in the afternoon. Though the committee believed the economy and the job market have improved enough to warrant a slight decrease in monetary stimulus, it warned that the unemployment rate “remains elevated.” It also noted that the housing sector has slowed in recent months, and that short-term budget cutting efforts from Congress were slowing the recovery as well.

Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke supported the move.

The Fed stressed that it is willing to adjust its purchases in the future either upwards or downwards if economic conditions warrant. In another change, the committee said that it would likely keep short-term interest rates near zero ”well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6-1/2 percent,” especially if inflation remains muted.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Bernanke indicated it’s likely the Fed will continue to pare back stimulus in $10-billion increments in the coming months. “The steps we take will be data dependent. If we’re making progress on inflation and employment we’ll likely do a measured reduction each meeting,” Bernanke said. The Open Market Committee holds eight meetings each year, so a $10 billion per meeting reduction would end the program sometime in late 2014.

Bernanke also fended off questions about whether the central bank is doing enough to reduce unemployment and maintain inflation at the Fed’s target of two percent. “We’re not doing less” to help the labor market recover, he argued, saying that the reduction in purchases is being paired with a promise to keep short-term interest rates near zero for longer than it had previously promised. “I think we’ve been aggressive to keep the economy growing and we’ve seen progress in the labor market.”

The outgoing Fed chair was also unusually critical of Congress’ fiscal policy, blaming short-term budget cuts for some of the struggles the economy has faced in recent years. “People don’t appreciate how tight fiscal policy has been,” he said. Bernanke pointed out that overall government employment has fallen by hundreds of thousands of jobs since the beginning of the recession.

He did have a few kind words for the latest budget deal however, praising the fact that it traded short-term budget increases with longer-term budget cuts, a strategy that he has pushed for numerous times in the past. Bernanke also praised the fact that a government shutdown was avoided with relative ease this time around. “It’s a good thing [Congress] is working cooperatively and making progress,” he said.

anke, 

 

Read more: Federal Reserve: Fed Tapers, Ben Bernanke Supports Cuts In Bond Buying | TIME.com http://business.time.com/2013/12/18/federal-reserve-decides-to-cut-stimulus-program/#ixzz2nsDwhXN8

 

Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options


Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options

report

march 10, 2011

read complete document  (pdf, 2478 kb)

CBO regularly issues a compendium of budget options to help inform federal lawmakers about the implications of possible policy choices. This volume—one of several reports that CBO produces regularly for the House and Senate Committees on the Budget—presents more than 100 options for altering federal spending and revenues. Nearly all of the options would reduce federal budget deficits. The report begins with an introductory chapter that describes the current budgetary picture and the uses and limitations of this volume. Chapters 2 and 3 present options that would reduce mandatory and discretionary spending, respectively. Chapter 4 contains options that would increase revenues from various kinds of taxes and fees.

Federal budget deficits will total $7 trillion over the next decade if current laws remain unchanged, CBO projects. If certain policies that are scheduled to expire under current law are extended instead, deficits may be much larger. Beyond the coming decade, the aging of the U.S. population and rising health care costs will put increasing pressure on the budget. If federal debt continues to expand faster than the economy—as it has since 2007—the growth of people’s income will slow, the share of federal spending devoted to paying interest on the debt will rise, and the risk of a fiscal crisis will increase.

This report presents 105 illustrative options that would reduce projected budget deficits. As in past reports, the options cover an array of policy areas—from defense to energy to entitlement programs to provisions of the tax code. The budgetary effects shown for most options span the 10 years from 2012 to 2021 (the period covered by CBO’s January 2011 baseline budget projections), although many options would have longer-term effects as well. The options are grouped into three major budget categories: mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and revenues. In most cases, the table accompanying an option shows the option’s estimated budgetary effects in each of the next 10 years, as well as 5- and 10-year totals.

The options in this volume come from legislative proposals, various Administrations’ budget proposals, Congressional staff, other government entities, and private groups, among others. Because the spending options in this volume are intended to help lawmakers review individual programs, they do not include large-scale budget initiatives, such as eliminating entire departments or agencies. The options are intended to reflect a range of possibilities, not a ranking of priorities, and the report does not provide an exhaustive list of policy alternatives. The inclusion or exclusion of a particular policy change does not represent an endorsement or rejection by CBO. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, this report makes no recommendations.

Budget Decisions: The Current Context

Over the past 40 years, federal debt held by the public has averaged 35 percent of the country’s annual economic output (gross domestic product, or GDP). Because of massive deficits during the past few years, that ratio climbed to 62 percent by the end of last year, the highest level since shortly after World War II.

In CBO’s current-law baseline, the deficit is projected to equal 9.8 percent of GDP in 2011, shrink to 4.3 percent of GDP by 2013 (after certain tax provisions are scheduled to expire and the economy has recovered further from the recession), and then range between 2.9 percent and 3.4 percent of GDP through 2021—close to the average of 2.8 percent seen over the past 40 years. Those deficits would push total debt held by the public to 77 percent of GDP by 2021.

Moreover, CBO’s baseline projections are predicated on the assumption that many policies now in place are allowed to expire over the next decade, as scheduled under current law. Those expiring policies include the major reductions in individual income taxes originally enacted in 2001 and 2003 and recently extended through 2012, as well as the higher exemption amounts for the alternative minimum tax. If those policies and others were extended, budget deficits would be much larger than in that baseline.

Over the longer term, the continued aging of the population and growth in health care costs will almost certainly push up federal spending significantly relative to GDP under current law. Without changes in law, spending on Social Security and the government’s major mandatory health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance subsidies to be provided through insurance exchanges) will increase from roughly 10 percent of GDP today to about 16 percent over the next 25 years. If revenues stay close to their average share of GDP for the past 40 years, that rise in spending will lead to rapidly growing budget deficits and surging federal debt.

To prevent federal debt from becoming unsupportable, lawmakers will have to restrain the growth of spending substantially, raise revenues significantly above their historical share of GDP, or pursue some combination of those two approaches.

Options for Reducing Mandatory Spending

Mandatory spending includes spending for entitlement programs and certain other payments to people, businesses, nonprofit institutions, and state and local governments. For mandatory spending programs, funding levels are generally determined not by annual appropriations but by eligibility rules, benefit formulas, and other parameters set by Congress in authorizing legislation.

The largest programs in this category are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which together accounted for 74 percent of mandatory spending in 2010 and are projected to account for 81 percent by 2021, under current law.

The options in this section encompass a broad range of mandatory spending programs. Although the options are grouped by program, some of the options for different programs are conceptually similar. For instance, two options address the effects of applying different inflation factors to the benefit formulas for certain programs. Other options would alter the balance of spending between the government and program participants or between the federal government and the states.

Of the 32 options in the mandatory spending chapter:

  • Fifteen deal with spending for health care programs.
  • Seven would make changes to Social Security or other retirement programs.
  • Ten focus on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and programs that deal with education, energy, or agriculture.

Options for Reducing Discretionary Spending

Spending governed by the Congress’s annual appropriation acts—which is labeled discretionary spending—accounts for nearly 40 percent of federal outlays. In 2010, roughly half of discretionary spending went for defense. The other half paid for a wide range of federal activities, including law enforcement, homeland security, transportation, national parks, disaster relief, scientific research, and foreign aid. CBO’s baseline projections reflect the assumption that discretionary spending will grow at the rate of inflation and will thus decline to 28 percent of total spending by 2021.

Of the 38 options in the discretionary spending chapter:

  • Two options, one for defense spending and one for nondefense spending, present broad alternatives for freezing or reducing discretionary spending.
  • Twelve other options deal with defense spending.
  • The other 24 options cover a broad array of nondefense programs.

Most of the options show savings calculated relative to CBO’s baseline projections—that is, the 2011 appropriation annualized, adjusted for projected inflation in later years. The budgetary effects of several options that involve spending for defense procurement were estimated on a different basis—they were measured relative to the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) 2011 Future Years Defense Program (FYDP). CBO determined that it would be more informative to estimate the effects of procurement options relative to DoD’s published plan because CBO’s baseline for defense procurement is not based on detailed plans for weapon systems. Because the 2011 FYDP extends for only five years, however, CBO’s estimates for procurement options are presented with tables that show just five years of costs or savings. The text of each procurement option discusses the effect of the option on DoD’s long-term acquisition plans.

Options for Increasing Revenues

Federal revenues come from taxes on individual and corporate income, payroll taxes for social insurance programs (such as Social Security and unemployment compensation), excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, remittances from the Federal Reserve System, customs duties, and miscellaneous fees and fines. The two largest sources are individual income taxes and social insurance taxes, which together produce more than 80 percent of the government’s revenues.

The revenue chapter presents 35 options to increase revenues. The options are grouped in a number of broad categories according to the part of the tax system they would target:

  • Individual income tax rates
  • The individual income tax base
  • Individual income tax credits
  • The Social Security tax base
  • Corporate income tax rates
  • Taxation of income from businesses and other entities
  • Taxation of income from worldwide business activity
  • Consumption and excise taxes
  • Health care provisions
  • Other taxes and fees

Nearly all the estimates for the revenue options were prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). If combined, the options might interact with one another in ways that could alter their revenue effects as well as their impact on households and the economy. For simplicity in presentation, some of the changes in revenues shown in the tables represent the net effects of an option on both revenues and outlays combined.

Caveats About This Report

The estimates shown in this volume could differ from any later cost estimates by CBO or revenue estimates by JCT for legislative proposals that resemble these options. One reason is that the policy proposals on which those later estimates would be based might not precisely match the options presented here. Another reason is that the baseline budget projections against which such proposals would ultimately be measured might have been updated and thus would differ from the projections used for this report.

The estimated budgetary effects of options do not reflect the extent to which a policy change would affect interest payments on federal debt.

CBO’s analyses do not attempt to quantify the impact of options on state spending. Some options that would affect other levels of governments or the private sector might involve federal mandates. The discussions of the options in this volume do not address the costs of potential mandates.

Federal Budget A Bad Deal Benefiting Only Millionaires And Billionaires


Federal Budget A Bad Deal Benefiting Only Millionaires And Billionaires

 

A bipartisan budget deal to avert another government shutdown comes before the Senate this week. The vast majority of House members from both parties approved the two-year budget agreement last week in a 332-to-94 vote. It is being hailed as a breakthrough compromise for Democrats and Republicans. The bill eases across-the-board spending cuts, replacing them with new airline fees and cuts to federal pensions. In a concession by Democrats, it does not extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people, which are set to expire this month. To discuss the deal, we are joined by David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize while at The New York Times. He is currently a columnist for Tax Analysts and Al Jazeera, as well as a contributing editor at Newsweek.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: A bipartisan budget deal to avert another government shutdown comes before the Senate this week. The House approved the two-year budget agreement last week in a 332-to-94 vote. The bill eases across-the-board spending cuts, replacing them with new airline fees and cuts to federal pensions. In a concession by Democrats, it does not extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people, which is set to expire this month. Republican Congressmember Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray called the deal a win for both sides.

REP. PAUL RYAN: I think this agreement is a clear improvement on the status quo. This agreement makes sure that we don’t have a government shutdown scenario in January. It makes sure that we don’t have another government shutdown scenario in October. It makes sure that we don’t lurch from crisis to crisis.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY: Our deal puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back sequestration’s harmful cuts to education and medical research and infrastructure investments and defense jobs for the next two years.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Republican Congressmember Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray.

The budget deal is being hailed as a breakthrough compromise for Democrats and Republicans, but not everyone supports it. Democratic Congressmember Mark Pocan of Wisconsin said in a statement, quote, “At the end of the day, the bill abandons 1.3 million Americans who desperately need unemployment insurance, and does nothing to promote economic growth or job creation. Furthermore, the legislation is paid for on the backs of the middle class and military families, while not touching the wealthiest amongst us and allowing corporations to continue to benefit from tax loopholes,” he said.

Obama Urging An Immediate Tax Cut For The Middle Class



Obama urges immediate tax cut deal for middle class (via AFP)

US President Barack Obama urged Congress Saturday to immediately extend a tax cut for middle-class Americans, arguing the move will give 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses the certainty that will lead to faster economic growth. "This is something we all agree on," the president…

Read more…

Census Bureau clarifies poverty numbers – U.S. News


Census Bureau clarifies poverty numbers – U.S. News.

Officials at the U.S. Census Bureau moved Friday to clarify widely reported figures meant to estimate the number of Americans living in poverty.

Dueling Census reports – one based on official poverty estimates that was released just last week and another based on an experimental calculus used in November – differed from one another by 20 percentage points regarding the number of people viewed as living in poverty. The widely reported figure showed that one out of two Americans are in poverty or are low-income. Other Census figures put the figure closer to one out of three Americans.
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That’s because the experimental measure, a supplement to the official poverty figures meant to take into account such factors as whether a family is receiving food stamps and how much people pay in taxes, uses a poverty level of $24,343 for a family of four instead of the $21,113 used by the official measure.

Read the original story on NBCLosAngeles.com

In expensive states like California and New York, the supplemental measure classified families making as much as $32,869 as impoverished.

However, Kathleen Short, the Census Bureau economist who spearheaded the supplemental report, said it would be wrong to extrapolate from those numbers that Americans are falling into poverty at greater rates.

In fact, she said, the experimental calculation indicated that poverty among children is actually lower than the official poverty rate shows.

On Thursday, reports in multiple news outlets suggested that people making roughly twice the poverty level under the experimental program were “scraping by” and should be considered low-income.

The Census Bureau does not support that interpretation of the data, Short said.

“Below 200 percent of the poverty threshold is the lower end of the distribution,” Short said. “But we would not call it low-income per se.”

A number of news reports on Thursday correctly said that more people fell under the definition of living in poverty under the experimental calculation, but then went on to say that people making twice that would be considered low-income.

However, the practice of using such figures as “150 percent of poverty” or “200 percent of poverty” to determine whether people were of moderate or low income is a practice that grew up around the older, traditional method of identifying poverty, which uses a lower threshold.

More from NBC4 on the Census reports: Assessing poverty

In parts of California under the supplemental approach, a family that owns its own home and earns about $66,000 per year would be earning 200 percent of the poverty level, and not necessarily be considered low-income.
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NBC4, relying on figures and analysis from the Los Angeles office of the Census, reported the newer, official poverty figures on Thursday, and questioned reports that used the supplemental figures.

A widely distributed news story by the Associated Press (and published by msnbc.com) relied on the supplemental report.

“We did not misunderstand the data,” AP spokesman Jack Stokes said in an email. “The AP story was vetted by the Census Bureau in Washington.”

However, Short said that she did not agree with the news service’s conclusion that the report showed one out of two Americans to be low-income or impoverished.

Short stressed that the supplemental measure was a work in progress, and that it should not be considered a replacement for the official poverty rate.

The AP’s calculations were correct, Short said, “but I’m not agreeing with any adjectives that are placed on being in that category.”

“In fact we stressed the Census Bureau does not have a definition for low income.” Short said

In the supplemental report, “we’re not characterizing what it’s like to be below 200 percent of the poverty line,” Short said. “We don’t have any information to characterize what that would be like.”

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Eva M. Clayton: A 2012 Farm Bill That Support Small Farmers and Nutritional Assistance Programs: Good for Our Nation’s Health and Economy


 

In Friday’s Los Angeles Times, there was an opinion editorial titled “America Needs a Farm Bill That Works” — this title is precisely why I think members of Congress need to be committed to pushing forward a bipartisan piece of legislation.

A 2012 Farm Bill will help provide infrastructure, investment and economic certainty for American agriculture — things that are both important and critical for an industry that impacts all Americans, whether they live in big cities or small rural communities. But in order for the bill to be effective in providing these things, it must support small farmers and nutritional programs that are key components to the viability and health of an Agriculture economy.
Small farmers are often made the loving poster child of our rural landscape. They are a struggling, declining and aging population. According to the Economic Research Services in United States Department of Agriculture, during the last census there were over 2.1 million farms in the U.S., of which 75% earned less than $50,000 annually and had about 5% production while the very large farms, representing just 2% of all farms, made over $1 million dollars and had 47% production.
This is a problem when you consider small farmers generally produce more fruits, vegetables, nuts and sustainable food products, all of which are essential for proper nutritional sustenance. As our country continues to focus on the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet, Congress should focus on ensuring competitive opportunities for small farmers that will enable them to continue to grow the healthy food that we need. Hopefully, obesity and other health issues can be addressed through healthy food choices. Local farmers are key to producing healthy foods and it will also increase their income.
Similar to the focus that is put on educating students in science and math to fill voids in those growing fields, Congress should support programs to recruit future farmers and ensure a growing and diverse industry in the future. The average U.S. farmer is 57 years old and just 5% of all farmers are 35 years or younger. Not to mention, just 4.6% of all U.S. farms are minority-owned and run. To say that there is room for improvement would be a gross understatement — we need to find creative ways attract new entrepreneurial and innovative farmers from all demographics. Congress and the present Administration recently addressed the lingering discrimination cases initiated by black farmers. However, constant vigilance is required to overcome the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) history of discrimination and to ensure equity for all farmers.
Additionally, upon examination of the payments to large farmers as compared to small farmers, the difference is vast. The commodity payments are tied to the production of specific commodities. These payments go primarily to large commercial producers. As a result, few of the smallest farms receive commodity payments.
In the 2008 farm bill, Congress did institute a number of new initiatives and expand other initiatives that encouraged local farmers to grow and sell food to various local vendors, including local school systems. For instance, in North Carolina, citizens are encouraged to buy locally and various grocery store chains, military bases and local schools are encouraged to purchase from local farmers. As a result, the local farm economy is benefiting and healthy foods are more accessible. We need to identify and expand smart and effective programs like this.
We also need to look for areas where we can improve. For example, the nutritional assistance programs under the farm bill are large and expensive and given the economic recovery, needed now more than ever. In September 2011, the USDA’s Economic Research Service reported that about one in every four Americans participates in at least one of the 15 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs of the USDA. These programs provide a nutritional safety net for millions of children and low-income adults. These programs also represent a significant federal investment, accounting for over two-thirds of USDA’s budget. A Moody’s study on the president’s stimulus impact noted that for every Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollar spent, it generated a $1.73 ripple effect in the economy.
The House Budget Committee, in an effort to reduce the federal budget deficit, proposed to cut SNAP significantly, possibly to its pre-2008 status — this is pennywise and pound foolish. This is not to suggest that there could not or should not be some reduction given to efficiency monitoring and other infrastructure upgrades. In addition to required financial resources, there needs to be greater use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at farmers’ and fish markets where healthy foods are sold. Nutrition education is essential and should be integrated into each of the 15 food assistance programs.
Food security is generally recognized as an important goal for our country. Supporting good nutrition for our needy citizens is the right and moral action for our government to take, but it is also the economically and healthy action to take where small farmers will make a significant impact.

Follow Eva M. Clayton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/evamclayton

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Wenonah Hauter

Wenonah Hauter: Governor Canoodling With Agribusiness? What You Can Do About It

If you ever thought that the farm bill was just about agricultural subsidies and food stamps, think again. Not only does the farm bill dictate what we eat — it also establishes whom our nation’s leaders are listening to on issues far beyond food.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: The Farm Bill Should Protect Hungry Kids, Not Subsidies for Insurance Companies

The fact is that food stamps are an effective investment. For every dollar that’s invested into the SNAP program, we get $1.71 back in return.

Mario Batali
Margarette Purvis

Mario Batali and Margarette Purvis: Believe It or Not, You Need Food Stamps

Living within a food stamp budget for one week was a challenge for both of us, but that challenge has ended. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for millions of others.

Ruth Messinger

Ruth Messinger: Our Current Global Food Crisis and How We Can Feed 17 Million More People

This year during Shavuot, the Jewish holiday which marks the end of the harvest, I am reminded of my commitment to alleviate hunger.

Liz Neumark

Liz Neumark: Littlest Voices

That is the story of our garden and our lives — open mouths (and minds) looking for something sustaining to eat.

Vicki B. Escarra

Vicki B. Escarra: When We Feed Children, We Feed Our Future

There are 16 million children in the United States who are facing hunger. How many of those kids live in your community? How many…

Wenonah Hauter

Wenonah Hauter: Governor Canoodling With Agribusiness? What You Can Do About It

If you ever thought that the farm bill was just about agricultural subsidies and food stamps, think again. Not only does the farm bill dictate what we eat — it also establishes whom our nation’s leaders are listening to on issues far beyond food.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: The Farm Bill Should Protect Hungry Kids, Not Subsidies for Insurance Companies

The fact is that food stamps are an effective investment. For every dollar that’s invested into the SNAP program, we get $1.71 back in return.

Mario Batali
Margarette Purvis

Mario Batali and Margarette Purvis: Believe It or Not, You Need Food Stamps

Living within a food stamp budget for one week was a challenge for both of us, but that challenge has ended. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for millions of others.

Ruth Messinger

Ruth Messinger: Our Current Global Food Crisis and How We Can Feed 17 Million More People

This year during Shavuot, the Jewish holiday which marks the end of the harvest, I am reminded of my commitment to alleviate hunger.

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Eva M. Clayton: A 2012 Farm Bill That Support Small Farmers and Nutritional Assistance Programs: Good for Our Nation’s Health and Economy