Pro Publica investigation: Welfare is no substitute for a Child Tax Credit

BY: - February 15, 2022

Those in Congress who are blocking President Biden’s proposed child tax credit — a monthly federal stipend for families with children of up to $300 per child — have been making a curious claim of late. They’ve been saying that there is already a highly effective cash assistance program for low-income parents and kids: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.

New and damning report: Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program

BY: - August 5, 2021

Experts call for feds to adopt anti-racist policy redesign WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years—and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities...


March 22 luncheon: Expert dissects America’s “welfare for the wealthy”

BY: - March 13, 2018

Join us for a very special Crucial Conversation luncheon: Prof. Christopher Faricy discusses his book “Welfare for the Wealthy: Parties, Social Spending, and Inequality in the United States” Register here Turns out, everyone loves big government. Dr. Chris Faricy shows that Republicans regularly enact tax breaks like 401k and 529 savings plans that use the […]


Punishing immigrants for being immigrants: Another component of U.S. welfare “reform” hits age 20

BY: - August 23, 2016

This is the third blog post in a series that will detail how lawmakers have weakened Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) over the past 20 years, explain why TANF is a cautionary tale rather than a model for other work and income support programs, and map out a better way forward. Emma Lazarus’s 1883 […]


Federal Court of Appeals strikes down Florida’s law mandating drug testing for public benefit recipients

BY: - December 4, 2014

When North Carolina lawmakers passed a law last year mandating drug testing of public benefit recipients modeled (at least in part) on a law in Florida, civil liberties and anti-poverty advocates told them it was a bad and unconstitutional idea. Today those advocates are feeling some vindication as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the […]

Understanding the basics of the budget stalemate

BY: - July 1, 2014

In case you missed it, be sure to check out today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File in which Chris explains what’s really at issue in the stalemated state budget negotiations. Most notable on the list: the remarkably regressive positions of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. “Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger told WRAL-TV that […]

Busting some myths about public assistance

BY: - December 19, 2013

The good folks at Think Progress published a story yesterday entitled “Your assumptions about welfare recipients are wrong.” It’s a myth-buster worth checking out as we contemplate the realities that confront so many of our fellow Americans — especially during the holiday season. “The stereotype of the low-income people enrolled in government programs is that […]

The beatings will continue until morale improves

BY: - October 15, 2013

How much lower can the performance of the folks running North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services sink? By all indications, DHHS now stands for Department of Hell for Hurting Souls. The latest outrage, of course, is the decision to give life to the late night fantasies of the Randians in the Pope Empire by using the federal government […]

McCrory addresses State Board of Ed, calls for higher pay for current master’s degree-seeking teachers

BY: - September 4, 2013

On the heels of the legislature overriding his vetoes to an immigration bill and a bill that would drug test welfare recipients, Gov. Pat McCrory appeared before State Board of Education members to address the legislature’s actions and reveal his education policy agenda in the wake of the long legislative session. After speaking of his […]

Advocates call for lawmakers to sustain veto of drug testing bill

BY: - August 30, 2013

The General Assembly returns to Raleigh on Tuesday to decide whether to override or sustain Governor McCrory’s veto of House Bill 392, the controversial and costly proposal to drug test public assistance recipients and applicants. In announcing his veto of HB 392 on August 15th, the Governor said: “Similar efforts in other states have proved […]

ACLU calls for G.A. to sustain drug testing veto

BY: - August 27, 2013

The ACLU of North Carolina sent a letter to its members and suporters today asking them to urge their state representatives and senators to uphold Gov. McCrory’s veto of controversial drug testing legislation. This is from the letter: “In announcing his veto, Gov. McCrory called H.B. 392 ‘a recipe for government overreach and unnecessary government intrusion […]

The absurdity of drug testing public assistance applicants

BY: - August 8, 2013

Kevin Rogers, an attorney with Action NC, has an excellent opinion piece in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer: “For all the trouble they caused this session, N.C. General Assembly leaders lacked a certain amount of inventiveness. Almost every bill they introduced was already being considered, or was law, somewhere else.Case in point, during […]