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Research Roundup

Oct 15, 2008

A sign of tough economic times is increasing worry by Americans about their ability to feed their families, as documented in a new survey by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The survey shows overwhelming support for expanding nutrition assistance programs as part of anti-recession programs and a belief that government is not doing enough to solve hunger-related issues.

Oct 02, 2008
Despite claims that by increasing its top income tax rate to 9% in 2002 New Jersey  would drive out wealthy residents, a new report out of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs shows that, instead, the number of New Jersey residents with incomes over $500,000 increased by 70% between 2002 and 2006 -- and the state has raised $1 billion annually in revenue.
Jul 31, 2008
Highlighting the struggling situation of working families, the Center for American Progress has a new report on middle-class financial security indicators that show that after a rise in security for middle-class families in the 1990s, a steep decline set in after 2000 as families increasingly became vulnerable to unexpected medical emergencies and rising debt. A recent report by the Center also highlights stark racial disparities in economic wealth.
Jul 17, 2008
With the stock market diving, taking many retirees' futures with it, state and local defined benefit pension plans remain an example of an efficient and sustainable approach to retirement savings, according to testimony by the Center for American Progress.  Instead of the fad for contribution plans like 401(k)s, the Center recommends that policymakers look to strengthen defined benefit retirement plans in both the public and private sector as the best way to promote a stable financial future for retirees.
Jul 10, 2008
While much of the news on the foreclosure crisis focuses on homeowners, Policy Matters Ohio has released a new report, Collateral Damage: Renters in the Foreclosure Crisis, which highlights the problems renters face when their landlords face foreclosure.   They are usually given no notice and often face significant costs when forced to move.  Policy Matters Ohio notes that in the Cleveland region in Ohio, nearly 30 percent of all residential foreclosures were rental properties.
Jun 26, 2008
Disconnected Families: Some poor single mothers manage to find work after being on TANF or combine work and welfare to make ends meet.  However, a brief by the Brookings Center on Children and Families profiles the 40 to 45 percent of the TANF caseload who are long-term recipients and aren't working because they face multiple barriers to securing and keeping employment.  Yet, because of time limits imposed by the 1996 federal TANF law, many of those families have been terminated from the program, terminations that will only increase with new rules implementing changes in the law passed in 2006.  The brief advocates creation of new state programs to help these long-term disadvantages families outside the traditional TANF programs.
Jun 05, 2008
The Challenges of Prisoner Reentry, Disparities in Health and Health Care among Medicare Beneficiaries, The ID Divide, and More
Jun 05, 2008

A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts
finds that while many children do improve their income relative to
their parents, the degree of upward mobility is usually limited and
blacks experience dramatically less upward economic mobility than
whites.  The racial gap in economic mobility for the poorest families
remains even when controlling for single- or two-parent families.