Unemployment Insurance: A 79-Year Old Promise to American Workers That Needs Renewing

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935, in the midst of the economy’s most severe contraction. At its lowest point, a quarter of the workforce was jobless, and in some areas, two-thirds of the unemployed had not worked for a year or more.  

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S&P: Reduce Inequality for a Better Economy

Standard and Poor’s (S&P), a company recognized around the world as an international financial research and credit ratings company, said last week that the American economy would benefit from reduced inequality.

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Unemployment Benefits Keep Families in their Homes

For breadwinners struggling to find work, unemployment insurance acts as a backstop against the worst financial devastation. A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that in states where unemployment compensation was more generous and extended benefits were available for a longer period of time, homeowners were less likely to be behind on their mortgages and lose their homes.

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Billions of Dollars Missing From Government Spending Website

Last December, National Priorities Project and the Center for Effective Government noted that "hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are missing from USASpending, the website designed to show the public how their tax dollars are spent."

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Bill Would Eliminate Child Tax Credit for Many Low-Income Families in 2018

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) provides families as much as $1,000 per child in tax relief. This partially refundable credit, when combined with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), lifted 5.3 million children out of poverty in 2012, helping to improve the lives of low-income working families.

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The Cost of Cuts: Worsening Wildfires

It’s wildfire season again in the American West. The season continues to grow longer and the fires more destructive. Climate change has resulted in warmer winters, which have allowed pests like the pine bark beetle to thrive, killing more than 47 million acres of forest – an area the size of the state of Nebraska. Drier conditions leave already vulnerable forests one lightning strike or careless campfire away from a major blaze.

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The Truth in Settlements Act: A Good First Step toward Ending the Tax Deduction for Corporate Fines and Settlements

When corporations commit fraud or have an accident that threatens human health or damages the environment, they pay a fine or settlement to resolve legal claims. These costs can run into the billions of dollars. In general, out-of-court settlements paid to a government for punitive damages (those designed to punish corporations for lax business practices that cause public harm) cannot be deducted from a firm’s taxes.

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People Use Government to Stay Connected: The Post Office

A year before the Declaration of Independence was signed; the Continental Congress passed a bill establishing the national post office. Ever since, the post office has played a vital role in facilitating the flow of ideas and goods across our far-flung land. In its quest for ever quicker and more efficient deliveries, the post office has been an early supporter of every new transportation innovation in our country’s history.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: A Public Solution for Widespread Individual Problems

The Great Recession that started in 2007 wiped out $7 trillion of wealth in America and led to 4.5 million families losing their homes to foreclosure. As people picked up the pieces from the meltdown, the abuses within the financial services industry became increasingly clear. An angry public demanded action.

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We Can Fix This. We've Done It Before. Re-imagining Government

When I talk to people who work in Washington, DC these days, I'm struck by the resignation. The political/policy professionals with whom I interact regularly are discouraged by the political posturing that undermines serious efforts at addressing national needs. They've counted noses and can tell me why nothing can happen in the next month, before November, before the end of the year, before the next presidential election. They tell us why we should give up. The fatigue is palpable, heavy, and contagious.

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