New evidence shows that our anti-poverty programs, especially Social Security, work well

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Few U.S. government efforts are consistently more vilified than anti-poverty programs. They’re dismissed as ineffective and ridiculed as giveaways to undeserving recipients.

A new paper puts the lie to these assertions by showing that the nation’s most important anti-poverty efforts all succeed in serving their goals — in the case of Social Security, spectacularly. The authors, Bruce D. Meyer and Derek Wu of the University of Chicago, used administrative statistics from six major programs to demonstrate that five of the six “sharply reduce deep poverty” (that is, income below 50% of the federal poverty line) and the sixth has a “pronounced” impact among the working poor.

The programs that reduce deep poverty are Social Security; Supplemental Security Income; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is what commonly is known as “welfare”; housing assistance; and food stamps, or SNAP. The sixth is the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps mostly families that earn around 150% of the poverty line. (That line is about $25,100 in annual income for a family of four.)

The claim that poverty hasn’t gone down since the start of the war on poverty is nonsense.

Bruce D. Meyer, University of Chicago

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In each case, Weber and Wu found that the effect of each program has been materially underestimated by traditional measurements. That’s because the earlier estimates are based on Census Bureau surveys that underreport benefits from these programs. As a result, the authors say, the effects of food stamps and TANF are underestimated by one-third to one-half, and the impact of Social Security is underestimated by as much as 44%. Their research covered 2008-13, the period of the Great Recession.

“You don’t want to say that our programs haven’t reduced poverty,” Meyer told me. “They’ve had huge effects in reducing poverty.”

These findings are important because all these programs, with the possible exception of the EITC, come under constant attack by budget-cutters and other conservatives. The claim is that, despite the expenditure of trillions of dollars in public funds, the poverty rate has barely budged in more than a half-century.

Ronald Reagan’s quip on the topic, from his 1988 State of the Union address, has adorned reams of Republican screeds against the safety net: “The federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won.” Republicans have exploited the notion to support proposals to cut program benefits, turn anti-poverty efforts over to private or philanthropic organizations, or block-grant the funds to states (a back-door means of cutting benefits).

The truth is, however, that poverty has lost. Meyer and Wu find that Social Security alone has reduced poverty among the elderly by 75%; the other programs do more for non-elderly households, though at lower rates.

The paper doesn’t specifically address the programs’ effect on the poverty rate, but Meyer has examined that effect in other research. In a 2012 paper with James X. Sullivan of Notre Dame, for example, he concluded that the official poverty rate failed to count tax credits received by needy households such as the EITC, and overlooked food stamps, housing benefits, and other in-kind transfers that have become an ever more important component of anti-poverty spending.

An inflation index that overstated price increases over time also tended to minimize the success of the war on poverty, as did a focus on household income rather than consumption, which Meyer and Sullivan suggested was a better indicator of a household’s standard of living.

Social Security (OASDI) has the greatest anti-poverty effect on almost all households, followed by food stamps (SNAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and housing assistance. (Meyer and Wu, NBER)

The official measurement indicated that the poverty rate fell by a scant 4.4 percentage points from 1960 to 2010, ending at 15.1%. Adjusting for flaws in the measurement however, Meyer and Sullivan determined that the percentage of Americans living in poverty had fallen by more than 26 percentage points, to about 4.5%.

“The claim that poverty hasn’t gone down since the start of the war on poverty is nonsense,” Meyer says. “You can see there were big reductions in poverty over time due mainly to two things — all the transfer programs we’ve added such as SNAP, TANF, SSI, expanded Social Security, and housing benefits — and because the economy has grown.”

The official poverty rate (blue line) has drastically underestimated the effect of anti-poverty programs according to alternative measurements (green and red lines). (Meyer and Sullivan, Brookings)

The findings of Meyer and Wu give a hint of what’s at stake in the debate over the federal safety net. It’s often pointed out that the elderly are among the economically best situated Americans. But for many of them — especially the lowest-income seniors — their economic status is dependent on Social Security.

“Most people who are very low-income and retired are getting almost all their income from Social Security,” Meyer says. “If you took it away, a lot of them would be below the poverty line.” To put it in terms of the paper’s specific findings, three-quarters of the elderly who would live below the poverty line are raised above that line by Social Security.

Meyer doesn’t think that all our anti-poverty programs are equally effective or well-designed. “It’s fair to say that we could try and encourage work more,” he says. “Even the poor prefer to have a job than to be on the dole. Support for work or even provide public service employment for those who can’t find a job would be improvements.”

Henna Brows Are Almost Everywhere – Right Here’s What You Need To Understand

Be particular that the skin is entirely tidy before applying henna. The henna can be discovered in numerous shades. Afterwards, it is eliminated from the skin, but it is still on the hairs. Since if you collaborate with pure henna, you will certainly eventually receive a red print on the epidermis. It is far much better henna when one does not have to go out for a few days. Henna needs double this to deal with, yet this is still an instead brief turnaround. Elleebana Brow henna is customisable and has a large spectrum of colours going from Black to an exact light Blond, to make sure that you may mix a lot of the colours with each other, however you might also use an additional layer over the leading if you genuinely really feel just like you want a darker outcome.

If you’re searching for body wax, connect with a seller of arm waxing options. Smooth the plastic all over your eyebrow to ensure it is adhered’ to the skin, then gently continue the eyebrow to do away with any air bubbles around the henna. The full cover to the brow bone should certainly be covered.

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The collection supplies a broad choice of choices to select from. You will conveniently locate the perfect mix for any type of sort of skin and hair colour. You’re entirely answerable for the product as quickly as you acquire it from us. The most effective lash professional it is possible to discover not just in Galway but in Ireland. The pure approach would straight refine with the aid of the proteins in the hair and also henna brows would make usage of the veggie dyes. You have the added advantage that light brown eyes are generally striking. Next, make sure you are employing a great skin treatment program.

The procedure is comparatively just like a henna tattoo application. It can take for life. Step 8 With the use of a previously prepared pump, you can speed up the drying process. Therefore, it’s extremely crucial to make it clear before the treatment. Rather, the completion result should be a more youthful look as well as smoother skin. The momentary outcome is most likely the most prominent. The greatest result is attained while the eyebrow henna retracts for a minimum of 20 mins.

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Where to Discover Brow Henna
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Great info from Lashliftstore – Henna brows have made significant advances just recently and there are an expanding variety of brands readily available on the market that are focused on henna. With one of the most appropriate application, you can wind up with natural looking brows, those that will certainly offer your face a dramatic lift. Adhering to is a rather very easy dish about just how to henna your brows. As a concern of truth, hennaing eyebrows is quite fast.

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You need to do the exact same point with each false eyelash. It’s also important to stay clear of black eyeliners as well as mascaras and choose for browns instead. Before you use the brow pencil, make sure that your eyebrows are clean.

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Trump looking into revoking security clearances for Brennan, other top Obama officials

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Exclusive: John Brennan still has top security clearance

Tucker: Former CIA director John Brennan still has top security access and has history of dishonesty and is now a partisan talking head for a cable news network. Brennan is not alone, and Sen. Rand Paul finds this ‘alarming.’

President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, accusing them of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service. 

She made the announcement at Monday’s press briefing, after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called on the president to specifically revoke Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance. 

Sanders said Trump is considering it — and also looking into the clearances for other former officials and Trump critics: former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former CIA Director Michael Hayden (who also worked under President George W. Bush).

Sanders said Trump is “exploring mechanisms” to remove the security clearances “because [the former officials] politicize and in some cases actually monetize their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.”

Sanders added that their clearances effectively give “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

“When you have the highest level of security clearance…when you have the nation’s secrets at hand, and go out and make false [statements], the president feels that’s something to be very concerned with,” Sanders said.

When asked whether former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden would have their security clearances revoked, she said she did not have any further information. 

The topic came into the spotlight Monday morning, with Paul’s tweets against the former CIA director.

“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?” Paul tweeted early Monday. 

Brennan joined NBC News and MSNBC in February as a contributor and senior national security and intelligence analyst. A spokesperson for the networks did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Paul’s tweet, which did not list any specific allegations. 

The Kentucky Republican, who last week jumped to Trump’s defense as the president faced bipartisan criticism over his summit and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed up the original tweet by saying: 

“Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!” 

Paul’s tweets come as fellow congressional Republicans push for Brennan to testify on Capitol Hill regarding the investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.

The former CIA director has been a consistent and harsh critic of the president, blasting his performance with Putin in Helsinki as “nothing short of treasonous.” 

Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 23, 2018

But Brennan is not the only former intelligence official to take to the media world. In April, Comey began a media blitz promoting his new memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” while Hayden and Rice also frequently make media appearances.

On Twitter, just minutes after the announcement from the White House brieifing, Hayden responded in a tweet to several journalists that a loss of security clearance would not have an “effect” on him. 

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018

“I don’t go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write,” Hayden tweeted. 

I dont go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write

— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) July 23, 2018

This Map Destroys Liberal Argument That Border Security Is Racist – US Chronicle

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While Mexican officials are railing against Donald Trump for having the audacity to suggest that he would be building a wall along the border of Mexico and America, it would be interesting to note how the Mexican nation views their southern border.

The Mexican southern border divides the country from the nation to their south, Guatemala.

Along the border, is a partial wall that Mexico constructed to secure the border, and to prevent Guatemalans from crossing into Mexico illegally. At the time of its construction, Guatemalan officials were calling the wall, “senseless,” and suggesting that illegal immigrants would find a way to cross into the northern nation.

Mexico has cracked down on illegal immigration in other ways that would have Liberals’ heads spinning if such measures were tried in America.

From the Washington Times:

“Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years.

Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals.”

In other words, Mexico treats illegal immigration as a crime, and enforces its laws. It does not grant amnesty to millions of people who have thwarted the law, but instead incarcerates or deports them back to their home country. The Times continues:

“The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to ‘economic or national interests,’ violate Mexican law, are not ‘physically or mentally healthy’ or lack the ‘necessary funds for their sustenance’ and for their dependents.”

That means that unlike the United States, Mexico does not pay its immigrants, legal or otherwise, welfare to stay in the country. If they have crossed the border, they are expected to work to be productive members of society. This is different from the U.S, who, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, pays more money in welfare benefits to illegal immigrants than it does to its own citizens.

It seems slightly hypocritical for Mexican officials to accuse the United States of being racist and xenophobic for wanting to secure its borders, and crack down on illegal immigration, when Mexico is substantially harsher towards their illegal immigrants.

H/T The Federalist Papers

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For opinion articles, information and opinions put forth by contributors are exclusive to them and do not represent the views of US Chronicle.



  • ‘Teachers Are Educators, Not Security Guards’: Educators Respond to Trump Proposal

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    In Shelbyville, Ind., where deer and turkey hunting are popular, Teresa Meredith, a kindergarten teacher, said she was stunned by the notion that weapons would have a sanctioned place in an American classroom.

    Mr. Trump’s comments, she said, seemed to be taking for granted that mass shootings would continue.

    “It felt like he was giving up and saying, ‘This is the new normal,’ instead of saying, ‘How can we prevent this from happening in the first place?’” Ms. Meredith said. “As a teacher, I’m supposed to teach and love and educate and nurture.”

    Annaka Larson, 34, a first-grade teacher at Paul and Sheila Wellstone Elementary in St. Paul, Minn., said that on Wednesday, after Trump seemed to float the idea of arming teachers, the subject dominated a meeting that was supposed to be spent planning lessons.

    Not a single teacher in the room supported the idea, she said.

    A number of teachers, like Skye Warren, who teaches in Houston’s Third Ward, flooded Twitter on Thursday with opposition to Mr. Trump’s plan.

    #CNNTownHall As a teacher, I’m letting you know I’m not carrying a gun to work. I’m not bringing guns around my children. I am not a police officer or in the army for a reason, I teach kids — I don’t go to war every day. My job is to educate children.

    — skye l. (@skyelorenn) Feb. 22, 2018

    Ms. Warren, who is in her first year of teaching, worries that placing guns in schools would harm students.

    “Our kids are already exposed to so many of these violent crimes,” Ms. Warren said. “It’s unacceptable for them not to have safe space like schools. ”

    Mr. Trump’s idea is not new. A similar proposal was raised in 2012, following the massacre of first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The nation’s largest education organizations immediately rejected it.

    “Firearms in principals’ and teachers’ hands might do more harm than good,” the National Association of Secondary School Principals said in a December 2012 statement. “To be effective, schools must be perceived as safe havens.”

    Tom Kuroski, president of the Newtown Federation of Teachers and a teacher of 33 years, said that he could not conceive how such a measure would have prevented the Sandy Hook massacre.

    “It just shows you how removed they are from what happens in the classroom on a day-to-day basis,” Mr. Kuroski said.

    He added he would be in favor of hiring retired law enforcement officials or military veterans, those trained in using a weapon, to help secure schools.

    Opposition also came from the leaders of large school districts.

    “The mere thought that teachers should be armed in order to ward off violence is utterly illogical and will only result in making our students and teachers less safe,” said Tommy Chang, the superintendent of Boston Public Schools, in a statement. “The real issue at hand continues to be access to guns.”

    Rocky Hanna, the head of a large Florida school district encompassing Tallahassee, said he had not talked to a single person in education or law enforcement who believed it was a good idea.

    “Teachers are educators, not security guards,” Mr. Hanna said.

    Despite opposition to the idea, dozens of schools across the country, many of them in Ohio, say they have successfully started programs in which select teachers are trained and armed.

    Chad Wyen, superintendent of Mad River Local Schools, located in the Dayton metro area, said his district passed a policy to establish a response team that could access weapons following a 2016 nonfatal school shooting in the nearby town of Middletown.

    Mr. Wyen said that he was determined that he would not leave his 3,900-student school system, which includes his own children, vulnerable.

    “I decided that we may not be able to stop everything, but we can stop a lot,” Mr. Wyen said.

    But a survey by the National Education Association in 2013 found that only 22 percent of N.E.A. members favored a proposal to train and arm school employees. Studies have also found that many law enforcement personnel oppose the idea.

    Steve Dillon has spent decades teaching science and special education in Tehama County, a rural area in Northern California where a gunman entered an elementary school after killing five people last fall. Mr. Dillon, 60, has owned a shotgun for nearly 50 years and occasionally goes hunting or skeet shooting. But, he said, he would never want a teacher armed on campus.

    “I specifically came to teaching because I wasn’t going to need to do anything with a gun,” he said.

    “There’s a lot of teachers who are under a lot of stress. All it takes is one kid to get into something that they are not supposed to be into — if they find the weapon, what are the results?”

    Erica L. Green, Julie Turkewitz, Jennifer Medina and Jess Bidgood contributed.

    A version of this article appears in print on February 23, 2018, on Page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: In School Halls, a Plan Is Greeted With Alarm.

    Continue reading the main story

    Trump revokes security clearance for former CIA director John Brennan

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    President Trump revokes John Brennan’s security clearance

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reads a statement from President Trump, which cites former CIA Director John Brennan’s ‘erratic conduct and behavior.’

    President Trump has revoked the security clearance for former CIA director John Brennan, the White House announced Wednesday, in the first decision to come from a review of access for several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders read a statement on behalf of the president during the start of the press briefing, saying Brennan “has a history that calls his credibility into question.”

    The statement also claimed Brennan had been “leveraging” the clearance to make “wild outbursts” and claims against the Trump administration in the media.

    “The president has a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it, and that’s what he’s doing is fulfilling that responsibility in this action,” Sanders said Wednesday.

    Last month, the White House said they were looking into the clearances for other former officials and Trump critics, including former FBI director James Comey; former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe; former director of national intelligence James Clapper; former national security adviser Susan Rice and former CIA director Michael Hayden (who also worked under President George W. Bush).

    On Wednesday, Sanders added to the list Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, former FBI agent Peter Strzok (who was fired from the bureau last week) and former FBI general counsel Lisa Page.

    “This is specific to Mr. Brennan, and the others are currently under review,” Sanders said. 

    The White House last month accused the former officials of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service, and said their clearances gave “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

    Brennan joined NBC News and MSNBC in February as a contributor and senior national security and intelligence analyst. 

    But Democrats blasted the administration for the clearance review, saying Trump politicized the process and had gone too far. Wednesday’s announcement fueled those allegations. 

    “In adding John Brennan to his enemies list, Trump demonstrates again how deeply insecure and vindictive he is — two character flaws dangerous in any President,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., top House Intelligence Committee Democrat, tweeted. “An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic and un-American. I also believe this action to silence a critic is unlawful.”

    But former CIA Deputy Chief of Staff for Brennan, Nick Shapiro, told Fox News last month that Brennan “hasn’t made one penny off of his clearance.”

    “Not one thing he has done for remuneration since leaving the government has been contingent on him having a security clearance,” Shapiro said. “One doesn’t need a security clearance to speak out against the failings of Trump.”

    He added: “This is a political attack on career national security officials who have honorably served their country for decades under both [Republicans] & [Democrats] in an effort to distract from [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller’s investigation.” 

    In the July 26-dated statement, Trump said: Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the Nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.”

    Despite the ongoing review, several former officials suggested it would have no impact on them. 

    Following the White House’s initial announcement, Hayden tweeted that he doesn’t “go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write.”

    A friend of Comey’s, Benjamin Wittes, tweeted last month that the former FBI director doesn’t have a security clearance to revoke.

    And Strzok, upon his removal from the bureau last month, lost his security clearance.

    McCabe’s spokesperson, Melissa Schwartz said his security clearance was deactivated when he was fired. 

    While Brennan is among the highest-profile on the list in terms of media appearances, Clapper and Hayden also are contributors for CNN. Rice frequently is a guest on news programs, and Comey recently finished a media blitz to promote his memoir “A Higher Loyalty” in May.

    Trump clashes with Pelosi, Schumer on border security in explosive Oval Office meeting | Fox News

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    Rep. Michael Burgess on President Trump’s fight to fund the border wall.

    President Trump clashed Tuesday with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi with the cameras rolling in the Oval Office as the president insisted he’s willing to let the government shut down if Congress doesn’t approve funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall.

    “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government,” Trump said.

    Trump said he’s “proud to shut down the government” and will “take the mantle.”

    Pelosi noted, “this has spiraled downwards.”

    The explosive meeting with Schumer, the Senate minority leader, and Pelosi, the top House Democrat, came hours after Trump threatened Tuesday to have the military “build the remaining sections” of the wall if Congress doesn’t deliver the funding. Vice President Mike Pence was also in attendance.

    As Trump began discussing the details of the negotiations, Pelosi said, “I don’t think you should have a debate in front of the press.”

    Congress last week temporarily averted a partial shutdown amid the funeral services for the late President George H.W. Bush, pushing the new deadline to Dec. 21. Trump wants $5 billion for the project, while Democrats are offering $1.3 billion for border security.

    Earlier, Pelosi and Schumer put out a joint statement Monday arguing Trump and his party will own a government shutdown if they can’t strike a deal.

    “Republicans still control the House, the Senate and the White House, and they have the power to keep government open,” they said. “Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown,” the Democrats said, adding that Trump “knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement.”

    Trump said Friday that Congress should provide all the money he wants for the wall and called illegal immigration a “threat to the well-being of every American community.”

    Pelosi said she and many other Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive.”

    Schumer said Democrats want to work with Trump to avert a shutdown, but said money for border security should not include the concrete wall Trump has envisioned. Instead, the money should be used for fencing and technology that experts say is appropriate, Schumer said.

    Pelosi, facing a rebellion from some Democrats as she seeks to become speaker of the House again in January, does face pressure from her base not to bend on the border wall funding fight. But more than the speaker’s gavel is at stake – Democratic votes in both the House and Senate could be critical for averting a partial shutdown.

    Sixty votes are required in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. And, at least for the near-term, Republicans only have 51 members.

    Republicans for the rest of the month have a comfortable majority in the House, but lack the votes on their side alone to pass a bill with or without wall money.

    Pelosi and Schumer have urged Trump to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30.

    Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Judson Berger and The Associated Press contributed to this report.