From the Coalition on Human Needs (http://www.chn.org):
By Leo Nguyen
April 19, 2017
Closing racial disparities in homeownerships. Ending domestic hunger in low-income communities. Tackling the gender pay gap. Proposing commonsense, high-quality, and realistic child care reform. CHN’s coalition members are producing great work on very important issues. This week, we continue our Resources from around the Coalition blog series, highlighting important resources you should be aware of.
A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development reflects on decades of discriminatory practices in the real estate industry and unfair public policies from local, state, and federal governments that enforced racial disparities in homeownerships, especially in the Black and Latino communities. The report also proposes realistic federal policies that would help close the homeownership disparities through replacing “upside down” homeownership tax programs, preserving Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other effective measures.
Published by the American Association of University Women, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap addresses underreported truths behind this persistent problem. The widely-cited 80% gender pay gap is the average for all full-time women workers in the United States. However, the report finds that the pay gap is even worse for women of color, as Hispanic and Latina women are paid only 54% of what white men make, on average, and African American women make only 63%. Moreover, the gender pay gap grows with age. According to the report, the pay gap won’t close until 2152; therefore, the authors offer immediate measures that companies, individuals, and policy makers could adopt to help close the wage gap.
Economists from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) call to eliminate or raise the Social Security payroll tax cap in a recent report. The current maximum wage earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax is $127,200; this means that people whose salary is more than this aren’t taxed on income above this amount. It also means someone who makes $1 million a year would stop paying into Social Security on February 16th while most workers are taxed all year long. According to the report, 5.4% workers in the U.S. have incomes above the payroll tax cap. Right now, the Social Security Trust Fund has enough to pay full benefits to retirees through 2034; after that, we will face a 20% shortfall. However, if we eliminate the tax cap by 2034, we will avoid the shortfall by almost 90%.
Researchers from the Economic Policy Institute and UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Child Care Employment believe that it’s time for comprehensive child care reform. They outline the problems with the current system, including lack of uniform paid family leave, poor and uneven quality of child care and education, and lack of access to affordable child care due to a lack of subsidies and programs for low-income families who need services the most. At the same time, they propose policy reforms that revolve around these fundamental components of child care. Ultimately, researchers call for an effective child care and education investment agenda that can benefit not only our children but our economy and society overall as well.
Senior policy analysts from the Center for American Progress released a new report in response to the recent increase of immigration raids and detained immigrants nationwide. The Negative Consequences of Entangling Local Policing and Immigration Enforcement suggests that as President Trump is pushing hard on enforcing immigration laws, state and local law enforcement agencies could face significant financial burdens, increased litigation, and diminished public trust while executing the President’s agenda. The authors call on local and state officers to adopt commonsense immigration enforcing practices, especially in sanctuary cities.
A new report from Bread for the World calls for effective domestic policies that would fight hunger with a more focused scope and strategy. Ending U.S. Hunger and Poverty by Focusing on Communities Where it’s Most Likely urges our country’s lawmakers to turn their attention to populations that are at least twice as likely as the general population to experience hunger and poverty. People in this category belong to some of the country’s major demographic groups: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, households of single mothers, undocumented immigrants, and people returning from prison. By taking sufficient measures to prioritize the most affected communities, strengthen safety net programs, and establish means for upward mobility, the U.S. could confidently move toward its goal to end hunger and poverty by 2030.
Researchers from the Center for Budget and Public Priorities conclude in a recent report that WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is a cost-effective investment that has improved the nutrition and health of low-income families for the more than 40 years since its enactment. Mothers and infants who participate in the program experience many positive results, including healthier infants at birth, better health care and nutritious diets for children, and subsequently higher academic achievement down the road.
All of these resources are great tools for advocates.