Social Safety Net
The Center for American Progress believes that a strong social safety net is critical to helping low-income individuals and families build financial security, weather unexpected hardships, and support a thriving economy. The following research and analyses detail how a chronically underfunded safety net harms millions of people across the country over the course of generations. The proposed solutions contained here—and in CAP’s work broadly—highlight the crucial role a strong and responsive safety net plays in the fight to build an inclusive economy.
How Weak Safety Net Policies Exacerbate Regional and Racial Inequality
Making CTC and EITC Expansions Permanent Would Reduce Poverty and Grow the Economy
Census Data Show Historic Investments in Social Safety Net Alleviated Poverty in 2020
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The House Republican Proposal To Avert a Debt Ceiling Crisis Is Untested and Unworkable
Proposals to prioritize certain payments in lieu of increasing the debt ceiling would increase, not decrease, the federal government’s risk of default.
Year 2 of the American Rescue Plan: Stories of Historic Recovery
On the second anniversary of the American Rescue Plan, Americans share how the legislation has affected their lives and communities.
Administrative Burdens: How the Social Safety Net Is Failing Disabled People
Disabled Americans describe their, often dehumanizing, experiences trying to overcome unnecessary barriers to access vital assistance from the government.
How Dehumanizing Administrative Burdens Harm Disabled People
Unnecessary barriers make accessing basic supports extremely difficult for disabled people across the country.
GOP Members of Congress Threaten Debt Limit Default To Cut Social Security and Medicare
Several minority leaders in Congress indicate that holding the debt limit hostage to force program cuts in Social Security and Medicare is part of their 2023 playbook.
Keeping Americans with disabilities from poverty must remain a priority
Mia Ives-Rublee discusses how the Supplemental Security Income program helped her overcome the structural barriers to employment and economic security that millions of disabled people experience and urges lawmakers to strengthen the program.
Hurricane Fiona: 4 Ways the Federal Government Can Help Puerto Rico Rebuild Better
Hurricane Fiona devastated Puerto Rico, reversing much of the progress made since Hurricane Maria in 2017; yet equitable, sustainable rebuilding and recovery is possible with key federal investments.
Data on Poverty in the United States
The Center for American Progress’ new poverty data project contains U.S. Census Bureau data on the national, state, and congressional district levels, all in one place. Below, users can explore data on poverty and more than a dozen other topics that measure the health of the economy, as well as identify potential solutions to the problems these data reveal.
Expanding the Safety Net During a Recession Prevents Worsening Economic Pain
New U.S. Census Bureau data show how more accessible and larger boosts to safety net programs kept poverty low during the COVID-19 recession, preventing a deeper economic crisis and spurring a faster economy recovery.
In the wealthiest country in the world, no one should be hungry
Ahead of the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Health, and Nutrition, Arohi Pathak urges lawmakers to take meaningful action to address food insecurity in the United States.
How To Address the Administrative Burdens of Accessing the Safety Net
Easing burdens on eligible people participating in government programs can reduce poverty and inequity.
TANF Must Be Able To Respond Faster and Stronger to Economic Crises
By reforming Temporary Assistance for Needy Families as a strong automatic stabilizer, policymakers can keep millions of Americans out of poverty and counteract recessionary pressures.