Budget Matters Blog

Category: Social Insurance, Earned Benefits, & Safety Net

Updated Data: Poverty

The people, children, and families in poverty datasets are now current through 2010 and reflect the latest American Community Survey (ACS) findings.

Data Story: WIC Benefits and Participation

Our new featured data story is WIC benefits and participation.

Deficit Reduction or Class Warfare?

Obama's speech in the Rose Garden on Monday outlined his proposal to control deficit spending, which features the “Buffet Rule” to ensure that households earning over $1 million do not pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans. Critics of Obama's plan called this class warfare. But in today's flagging ...

New Data: County Unemployment

Our unemployment data is now available at the county level as well as the state level.

The Scoop on the American Jobs Act of 2011

President Obama presented the American Jobs Act of 2011 on September 8th and sent it to Congress on September 12th. Want to know what it's all about? Here’s the rundown. How does it help… the unemployed? It makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against unemployed job applicants because of ...

Mapping Essential State and County Data About Federal Spending and Social Well-being

National Priorities Project announces the launch of its Federal Priorities Database, a tool which compares the way our nation spends money with the social impact of these expenditures. The database tracks both federal spending and social indicators (e.g., poverty rates, renewable energy usage and enrollment in the State Children's Health ...

Federal Priorities Database: Underemployment (U-6)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes several alternate meausures of labor underutilization that are more inclusive than the standard unemployment rate.

Data Story: School Lunches

Now that schools everywhere are back in full swing, we’ve posted a new featured data story on our Federal Priorities Database. This one looks at two datasets: school lunch participation and school lunch expenditures. Over the years, the number of students eating school lunch has increased, reaching 31,724,421 for the school year ending in 2010. These lunches were subsidized by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Federal assistance for this program, which totaled $9.8 billion In FY 2009, comes in the form of cash reimbursements and “entitlement foods” from the USDA.

New Data: Underemployment

There's a new indicator in the Federal Priorities Database. Underemployment: Percent of the civilian labor force unemployed, marginally attached (available but not currently looking for work), or involuntarily working part-time.

Unemployment Insurance: An Overview

Unemployment insurance (UI) is a joint venture between the federal government and the states: each state sets its own recipient critera based on federal guidelines. The federal government collects taxes from employers, which go into a Trust Fund that pays for administrative costs, state loans, and extended benefits. States collect employer taxes too; these fund the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. During long periods of economic downturn, the federal government has two ways to help states with the highest rates of unemployment: the extended unemployment program and emergency unemployment compensation. The former is funded by the Unemployment Trust Fund. The latter is funded by the US Treasury; therefore, extending it requires Congressional approval.