Talk Poverty

If You Want to Expand Our Welfare System, Call It 'Assistance to the Poor'

Last Spring, in a highly publicized meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, President Donald Trump received some startling news. One of the members mentioned to Trump that pushing forward with “welfare reform” would be hurtful to her constituents, “not all of whom are black.”

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The Paul Ryan Guide to Pretending You Care About the Poor

Once, at a town hall in Wisconsin, someone asked known anti-poverty crusader Paul Ryan (R-WI) the following question:

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Are You in One of the 36 Million Families Whose Taxes Will Go Up Under the House Bill?

This week, without a single hearing, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” After weeks of claiming that all middle-class taxpayers would see a tax cut, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took the rare step of admitting to a lie over the weekend, telling The New York Times, “You can’t guarantee that absolutely no one sees a tax increase.” And on Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) also sought to walk back his claims, from promising tax cuts to “everyone” to assuring “average” taxpayers that they would see a cut. Now, new analysis shows just how many middle- and working-class Americans would see a tax increase under their tax plan.

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Ivanka Trump’s Child Tax Credit Is a Ploy to Pass Tax Cuts for the Rich

On Monday, Ivanka Trump kicked off her tour to stump for the Trump administration’s tax package with a town hall in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She pitched an increased Child Tax Credit as a way to help families struggling with high child care costs and noted that the United States invests relatively little in early childhood education compared with other countries. Given how much Ivanka Trump’s reputation has suffered as she’s failed to impact White House policy on issues such as climate change and gender equity, she needs to show that she can deliver on promises she made during the campaign to make child care more affordable.

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It’s Time to Stop Using Inmates for Free Labor

Last week, a Louisiana sheriff gave a press conference railing against a new prisoner release program because it cost him free labor from “some good [inmates] that we use every day to wash cars, to change oil in the cars, to cook in the kitchen.” Two days later, news broke that up to 40 percent of the firefighters battling California’s outbreak of forest fires are prison inmates working for $2 an hour. Practices like these are disturbingly common: Military gearground meatStarbucks holiday products, and McDonald’s uniforms have all been made (or are still made) with low-wage prison labor.

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I Went from Being Homeless to a Full-Time Writer: Trump Wants to End the Programs That Got Me Here

Six years ago, I lived with my then 3-year-old daughter, Mia, in a studio apartment. During the day I worked full-time as a maid, cleaning the houses of wealthy people. At night, I stayed up completing coursework for online college classes.

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Trump’s Child Care Plan Will Make It More Affordable - For the Wealthy

Last night, during his joint address to Congress, President Trump promised to “work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable.” This isn’t a huge surprise: for the past several months, Ivanka Trump has been meeting with Republican representatives on Capitol Hill about a child care proposal. When Ivanka—alongside her father—introduced the plan back in September 2016, she asserted that “safe, affordable, high-quality child care should not be the luxury of a fortunate few.”

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What Happens When You Can’t Afford Self-Care

For the last year, I have been keenly aware of my dire need for two things: therapy and exercise.

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Why Millennials Have the Greatest Stake in Social Security Expansion

(This article first appeared at TalkPoverty.org.)

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Conservative's Absurd Latest Idea to Stop Paid Family Leave: Pregnancy IRAs

(This article first appeared at TalkPoverty.org.)

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Segregation in the Era of Housing 'Choice'

A few months before I met Vivian Warner,* she got the call she had been waiting so long for that she’d forgotten to hope for it. It was Baltimore Housing, the agency that oversees subsidized housing in the city. After four years on the waitlist, Vivian would receive a housing voucher, and could finally move off of her sister’s couch into her own home. A few weeks later, Vivian boarded a bus with the other lucky winners and drove around the city to visit eligible homes. At the last stop, the bus pulled up in front of a low-rise apartment complex. It was not quite what Vivian had imagined, but there was a two-bedroom available, and Vivian would pay just $55 a month out of pocket from her part-time income. She signed the lease that afternoon.

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The Unexpected Cause of Water Crises in American Cities

While the water crisis unfolding in Flint is perhaps the most egregious example of austerity in recent memory, it is part of a larger emergency developing nationally. In 2014, Detroit became the first major American city to enact mass water shutoffs, with 46,000 poor households receiving disconnection notices that May. And in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and other cities, consumers face steep price increases in their water bills. These shutoffs and rate hikes can be traced back to one common source: Wall Street.

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New Research Reveals Hidden Growth of Extreme Poverty in America

A new book by two of our nation’s foremost poverty researchers, Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, reveals the desperate circumstances that hundreds of thousands of children and their parents increasingly face: living with virtually no cash income in an economy that requires it to meet nearly every human need.

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