DMI Blog

Maureen Lane

Congress tightens the noose

In yesterday's New York Times editorial, Congress's Sham Budget Savings this week's congressional budget proposals are rightly referred to as an "abominable package of budget cuts for the poor."

As the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) alerts that, the House Ways and Means bill shoehorns destructive policy changes into the reauthorization of (TANF) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

CHN analyses points out these changes mean that as work requirements for people on assistance are greatly increased the states' funding of programs to help people find jobs will be drastically decreased. Tightening the noose, access to vocational education that would help parents gain fiscal independence is also reduced by these changes.

These policies will leave families trapped in poverty.

Studies show that as welfare rolls have been reduced, child poverty has increased. In New York, the Fiscal Policy Institute, points out the economy is growing but low wage workers are not gaining. In fact, wages for workers with less than high school education has decreased by over 13 percent since the 1990's while the salary for higher educated workers has continued to increase.

In New York City, the earnings gap is quite startling. As Sam Roberts reports in the New York Times, "The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now make 52 times what the lowest fifth make - $365,826 compared with $7,047. Put another way, for every dollar made by households in the top fifth of Manhattan earners, households in the bottom fifth made about 2 cents."

We must take a stand against Congress run amok.

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 9:01 PM, Nov 08, 2005 in Economy | Middle-class squeeze | Progressive Agenda | Welfare
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