Poverty Day Resources, State & Local Layoffs of Public Employees, Rising Family Health Spending, and More

Poverty Day Resource Guide - With the September 10th release by the Census Bureau that the poverty rate for 2008 was 13.2 percent or 39.8 million people -- an increase of approximately 2.5 million Americans in 2008 alone. In conjunction with the release of this information, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity compiled a resource guide of reports and resources analyzing this poverty information from  The American Prospect, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Brookings Institution, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Economic Policy Institute.  The Center for Policy and Economic Research also released an analysis.

Cut Loose: State and Local Layoffs of Public Employees in the Current Recession - Decreasing tax revenues and expanding budget deficits have forced public officials to cut more than 110,000 jobs from state and local governments in the last two years,according to this analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. This number includes over 40,000 teachers as well as nearly 4,000 uniformed police officers and firefighters. The five largest states - California, Florida, Michigan, New York, and Illinois - account for nearly half of the public sector job loss nationwide.  Within states, big cities have experienced the most concentrated job loss.

Family Health Spending to Rise Rapidly: Costs Are Becoming Unsustainable for Families with Employee-Sponsored Care - Without changes in our health care system, this Center for American Progress study estimates that annual health care spending for families of four with employer-sponsored coverage will grow from nearly $17,000 today to over $39,000 by 2019—or from 19 percent of family income to 31 percent.

Funding Shortfalls Causing Cuts in Housing Vouchers: Tens of Thousands of Low-Income Families Facing Higher Rents, Loss of Assistance This Year - Because of cuts in the Housing Choice Voucher Program for calendar year 2009, an estimated 400 state and local housing agencies across the country will be forced to reduce or eliminate rental assistance for a significant number of the 500,000 low-income families they serve, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Unequal Opportunity Lenders? Analyzing Racial Disparities in Big Banks’ Higher-Priced Lending - Analyzing the lending behavior of 14 systemically significant banks that received TARP funding, this Center for American Progress report finds a pattern of disparate outcomes based on race that persists even when concentrating on high-income borrowers.  Overall, 17.8 percent of white borrowers were given higher-priced mortgages, yet 30.9 percent of Hispanics and a staggering 41.5 percent of African Americans got higher-priced mortgages in 2006. Even among high-income borrowers, nearly all of whom were earning over $100,000, only 10.5 percent of white borrowers got higher-priced loans, compared to 32 percent of African-American and 29 percent of Latino borrowers.

A Place to Call Home: What Immigrants Say Now About Life in America - This survey of immigrants in America by Public Agenda finds that  the overwhelming majority of immigrants say they’re happy in the United States, and would do it all over again if they could. Immigrants “buy in” to American society, for themselves and their children. Still, Still, roughly one-quarter of immigrants report running into at least some discrimination personally, and about 1 in 10 immigrants report having done so “a great deal.”

The CAP Effect: Racial Profiling in the ICE Criminal Alien Program - Finding that local enforcement of immigration laws led to racial profiling. This study by the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law analyzed arrest data by police in Irving, Texas to find that Hispanics were arrested in far greater numbers for petty offenses as part of a federal Criminal Alien Program (CAP) to deport serious offenders.   

Wishful Thinking: Claims That State Tax Increases Cause Job Loss are Unfounded- Highlighting the need for a balanced approach to dealing with deficits that includes revenues, the North Carolina Budget and Policy Center recently released a report debunking the myth that state tax increases cause job losses.