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More People Die Young In US Due To Health Care And Welfare Cuts

From 1930 through the middle of the last century, the mortality rate in the United States was lower or commensurate with the mortality rates of other wealthy nations, such as Canada, France and Britain. However, in the late 1970s through the 1980s, U.S. health outcomes and mortality rates began to diverge from those of its peers. By 2021, about half of all U.S. deaths under the age of 65 would have been avoided if the U.S. mortality rates were on par with those of other countries, according to a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences. In other words, on average one out of every two deaths under the age of 65 in the U.S. would be averted in countries like Australia, Germany, Japan or Portugal.

Debt Ceiling Hypocrisy: US Boosts Military Budget, Restricts Food Stamps

The US government reached its debt limit of $31.4 trillion in early 2023. This unleashed a deluge of debate as to whether or not the Treasury was going to default, and how a deeply divided Congress could come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. The constant chatter in the mainstream corporate media overlooked the real controversy, however. The reality is that practically no one in Washington truly cares about the US national debt. In fact, in a bipartisan deal negotiated in late May to raise the debt ceiling, Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy agreed not to cut but rather to increase the already massive military budget from roughly $800 billion to $886 billion.

Farewell To The Welfare State? Not Just Yet

Maybe you recall all the post–Cold War talk of a “peace dividend” and maybe you don’t: It depends on when you took up residence on this mortal coil. The term arose as the Soviet Union disintegrated and was commonly mentioned during George H.W. Bush’s presidency, 1989–1993. A dramatic reduction in defense spending, and a corresponding increase in expenditures on education, health care, and so on, was put around as one of Bush I’s outstanding achievements. That was the peace dividend. The thing you need to know about all the talk of a peace dividend back then is that it was all talk. And the thing you need to know now, with Cold War II in more or less full swing and the proxy war against Russia raging in Ukraine, is that there is no longer any need to know anything about the peace dividend.

Forcing People To Work So They Can Get A Child Tax Credit Is A Terrible Idea

Last year, Anna James, a mother from Fayetteville, NC received a lifeline: monthly payments from the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). The program provided critical financial support as she cared for her two little boys who suffered from a rare and often fatal genetic disease. Between the hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, and care at home, Anna didn’t have time for paid work, and expanded CTC payments were all she had keeping her afloat. But this support didn’t last. The monthly expanded CTC payments ended in December 2021 after Congress failed to renew the benefit and it reverted to its pre-2021 status: a non-refundable, one-time tax credit. Non-refundable tax credits include a de facto “work requirement,” as they can only be claimed by someone with earned income, meaning Anna was no longer eligible to receive support.

The Cruel Failure Of Welfare Reform In The Southwest

ProPublica has taken this moment to examine the present state of cash assistance in the U.S., focusing on the Southwest, where massive population growth and a surging cost of living for low-income parents have collided with the region’s libertarian attitude toward government help for the poor. What ProPublica discovered is an abundance of overlooked stories of bizarre — and mean-spirited — practices on the part of state governments, which were handed near-complete responsibility for welfare under the 1996 law.
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