Economic Security & Opportunity

Impossible Choices: Food and Housing or Prescription Drugs?

October 11, 2000. This report was prepared by the Fiscal Policy Institute for USAction, the nation’s largest consumer organization. It examines how rising prescription drug prices are affecting the household budgets and living standards of older Americans. The report was released today in Washington by USAction and at numerous locations around the country by USAction’s state and regional affiliates. FPI Senior Economist Trudi Renwick presented the reports results at USAction’s press conference in Washington, DC, while FPI Executive Director … (read more)

Building a Ladder to Jobs and Higher Wages

October 1, 2000. New York’s public and private leaders can create more jobs, expand training and educational opportunities, and ensure that work is a path out of poverty. This report from the Working Group on New York City’s Low-Wage Labor Market examines the current nature of the city’s low-wage labor market and includes a comprehensive set of policy recommendations to address the labor market problems of New York City’s growing low-wage labor force. FPI was a member of the working … (read more)

Social Security Protects 253,000 New Yorkers Under Age 40

September 27, 2000. Despite widespread public perception that Social Security is only for seniors, 253,000 young people in New York receive monthly benefits through the Social Security disability and survivors insurance programs. A new report, Young Social Security Beneficiaries in New York, discusses the impact that Social Security privatization would have on this vulnerable population. Press release below.

Social Security, America’s Most Important Safety Net Program, Protects 253,000 New Yorkers Under Age 40

These and other recipients of Disability … (read more)

Strengthening Social Security and Medicare – Rhetoric and Reality in the 2000 Election

September 13, 2000. Remarks of Frank J. Mauro, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute, at the retiree luncheon hosted today in New Paltz by the United University Professions, Capital District Region.

Many issues of importance to retired and soon-to-be -retired Americans are being fought out in this year’s election campaigns. Of these issues, the most important relate to the strengthening of Social Security and Medicare. I use the term “strengthening” to encompass both the protection of the benefits available under the … (read more)

An Agenda for a Better New York: Modernizing New York’s Unemployment Insurance System

June 2000. A new report by Jennifer McCormick and Trudi Renwick. Executive summary below; also see full report.

On the last day of the 1998 Legislative Session, a significant Unemployment Insurance (UI) reform bill was passed by both houses of the legislature and later signed into law by Governor Pataki. This wide-ranging bill addressed many aspects of the UI program: employer tax rates, the taxable wage base, the maximum benefit amount, seasonal employers and individual eligibility. A more limited … (read more)

Sponsors and speakers to call for systematic reform of New York’s $2.6 billion Corporate Welfare program

Forum on Corporate Welfare and Corporate Accountability to be held in Troy at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 3, 2000.

For more information, contact Mark Dunlea at 518-434-7371 or Frank Mauro at 518-786-3156.

The Fair Budget Campaign will be conducting a forum on Corporate Welfare and Accountability on Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:00 PM at the First United Presbyterian Church, 1915 5th Avenue, Troy (2 blocks east of the Uncle Sam Atrium). The event is co-sponsored by Troy Area United … (read more)

Street Addict

The city is less dependent on the stock market than in ’87, right? Wrong. Almost 20 percent of the city’s income is made on Wall Street — which could mean catastrophe in a crash.

BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

When the long-running bull market took a week off in the middle of April, many New Yorkers couldn’t help indulging in a little schadenfreude. After all, the Internal Revenue Service reports that 75 percent of the capital gains earned during the … (read more)

Robin Hood in reverse

May 1, 2000. An editorial in the Albany Times-Union:

New York state is taking federal welfare money to pay for middle-class subsidies

It’s been a while since a welfare scandal made headlines. Something like a welfare mother driving a Cadillac or someone collecting checks under several different names used to make for such easy political points. All that stopped, ostensibly, when President Clinton and Congress made good on their determination to end welfare as we once knew it.

Misuse … (read more)

Federal Welfare Windfall Frees New York Money for Other Uses

April 23, 2000. Raymond Hernandez reporting for the New York Times quotes FPI’s Frank Mauro.

In the four years since the overhaul of the nation’s welfare laws, New York has taken at least $1 billion given to it by the federal government for new antipoverty programs and used it instead to indirectly finance huge tax cuts and other programs that appeal to middle-class voters, according to government and private estimates.

The budgetary switch has been employed by other states, prompting … (read more)

Inside the New State Budget: A Welfare Slush Fund

April 17, 2000. An update from City Limits Weekly (No. 224), New York’s urban affairs news magazine. Reported by Annia Ciezadlo.

Add a new one to the list of behavioral changes wrought by welfare reform: the TANF land grab. Since the old welfare program was replaced with the more flexible Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant in 1997, and since declining welfare rolls have left a hefty surplus of unspent funds, states have been using this cash much more … (read more)