September 23, 2010

CONTENTS


The Community Action Partnership is in the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).
Our designation number is 80371.



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NEWS YOU CAN USE
 
43.6 million Americans (14.3%) fell below poverty line; largest number since records started in 1959 —
Census Bureau releases 1st round of poverty figures for 2009; check out analysis by Economic Policy Institute
 
IRS offices across America schedule Saturday, Sept 25th to help veterans, people with
disabilities and their families with tax assistance & other services
   
CAPLAW audio conference on Health Care Reform on September 29
Fee for this webinar
 
PARTNERSHIP TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
   
September 28 1:00-2:30 EDT CED Webinar: Mission Driven Earned Income
   
October 14 1:00-2:30 EDT The Development Plan
   
November 17 1:00-2:30 EDT Building a Fundraising Board
       
Deember 8 1:00-2:30 EDT Sustainability Toolkit
 
ISSUES AND OPINIONS
 
"Don’t Kill Growth & Jobs in the Name of Deficit Reduction”
Partnership joins with 300 economists & leaders in letter to the President and Congress
   
Please help our colleagues at RurAL CAP in Alaska and the Break Free Alliance
Complete their quick tobacco cessation & prevention survey
   
 
PARTNERSHIP NEWS
 
Well worth reading - “Poverty in Maine 2010”
Kudos to the Maine Community Action Association
   
New Partnership announced with FoodSource — Save Money!
 

NEW! You can now
 Follow CAPartnership on Twitter
CENSUS POVERTY FIGURES FOR STATES & COUNTIES
TO BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 28

 

These recent poverty numbers from the Census Bureau covering 2009 are stark & most distressing. 20.7% of America’s children live in poverty. One in four African Americans and one in four Hispanics are poor, twice the rate for white Americans. Read more below. The Partnership also will monitor and report on the second round of poverty numbers that will be released on September 28.

Poverty rate increases to 14.3 percent,
43.6 million Americans were poor in 2009

US Census Bureau releases 2009 Poverty Figures

The excerpt below is from the Census Bureau’s news release. To view the entire release, go to census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb10-144.html

The nation's official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008 — the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004. There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase.

Meanwhile, the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, while the percentage increased from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent over the same period.

These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009, which can be downloaded at census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p60-238.pdf


For an analysis of the Census Bureau’s recently released 2009 poverty numbers, click here to check out Economic Policy Institute’s new paper, “A Lost Decade: Poverty and Income Trends Paint a Bleak Picture for Working Families.”


State Poverty, Income, and Health Insurance Tables
With thanks to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


These tables pool together two years of data in order to make the sample size large enough to include every state. Across the nation, unemployment was much worse in 2009 than 2008, so combining these years will understate the severity of 2009 poverty. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has provided one-year and nine-year comparison tables, both letting you know whether the change over time is statistically significant for your state.

NOTE: The tables may show up very small on your screen - you can enlarge them by clicking on the plus button (+) towards the top of the screen.

Poverty & Income

Poverty by State, 2006-2007 to 2008-2009, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Poverty by State, 1999-2000 to 2008-2009, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Median Household Income by State, 2006-2007 to 2008-2009, compiled by CBPP
Median Household Income by State, 1999-2000 to 2008-2009, compiled by CBPP

Health Insurance

Uninsured by state, population under 65 years old, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Uninsured by state, population under 18 years old, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Medicaid coverage by state, population under 65 years old, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Medicaid coverage by state, population under 18 years old, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Employer Insurance by state, population under 65 years old, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)
Employer Insurance by state, population under 18 years old, compiled by CBPP (9/16/10)

Also, a Huffington Post blog post by Deborah Weinstein about the new poverty data:
A State of Emergency: We Need to Address Rising Poverty Now

CHN Poverty webpage:
(frequently updated with additional statements and analyses):

FREE TAX ASSISTANCE HELP FOR VETERANS AND
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

 

Thanks to our great colleague Beckie Harrell, IRS senior tax analyst, for making this valuable information available. Check out the IRS office serving your area that can help our military veterans, people with disabilities, and their families with tax preparation and other free services.


All activities are opened to the general public and at least one IRS office will be open in each state. Click here for locations.

We’ll also have a ready-to-use article located on a new internet page called the Outreach Corner on IRS.gov that you can simply paste into your communication vehicles to reach your affiliates and customers to help us spread the word about this day.


LEARN HOW HEALTH CARE REFORM AFFECTS YOUR AGENCY



Health Care Reform: Prepare Now for 2011 Requirements

September 29, 2010
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST


Audio Conference Description:
Earlier this year, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law what is now commonly known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Act makes sweeping changes to the provision of health benefits in America, with an impact on employers, government, and individuals. In this session, we will focus on the immediate impact of health care reform on your CAA and the steps you need to take now to ensure compliance.

For more information and registration, click here.

 

INVEST IN JOBS TO RESTORE OUR NATION'S FISCAL WELL-BEING

 

Thanks to our great colleagues at the Institute for America’s Future, on September 16, 2010, the following statement, signed by more than 300 economists and civic leaders, was publicly released. It warns of “a grave danger” that today’s still-fragile economic recovery will be undercut by austerity economics of the kind being pushed by conservative politicians and by the White House Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The statement urges the president and Congress to “redouble efforts to create jobs” through investment in infrastructure, sending aid to the states and creating public service jobs.

In addition to warning that premature deficit reduction will cripple growth, the statement also warns that some conservative deficit reduction proposals would undermine such important programs as Social Security, even as they fail to reduce deficits. Finally, the statement outlines a plan for reviving growth and jobs, for effective deficit reduction after the recovery, and for investment in infrastructure, green technology, and long-term economic productivity and job creation.

This statement was written by Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey of the Institute for America’s Future, Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Robert Kuttner from The American Prospect and Demos. Don Mathis signed on for the Partnership. Other signers include Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jeff Faux, Jacob Hacker, Julianne Malveaux, Lawrence Mishel, Robert Reich, Mary Kay Henry, Joan Kuriansky, and Debbie Weinstein.

ECONOMISTS WARN OUR POLITICAL LEADERS:
DON’T KILL GROWTH AND JOBS IN THE NAME OF DEFICIT REDUCTION.

In the fall of 2008 the U.S. and other major economies were in a free fall in the wake of a global financial crisis. Emergency stimulus policies here and around the world broke the fall, but brought us only part way to full recovery.

Today there is a grave danger that the still-fragile economic recovery will be undercut by austerity economics. A turn by major governments away from the promotion of growth and jobs and to premature focus on deficit reduction could slow growth and increase unemployment – and could push us back into recession.

History suggests that a tenuous recovery is no time to practice austerity. In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal generated growth and reduced the unemployment rate from 25 percent in 1932 to less than 10 percent in 1937. However, the deficit hawks of that era persuaded President Roosevelt to reverse course prematurely and move toward budget balance. The result was a severe recession that caused the economy to contract sharply and sent the unemployment rate soaring. Only the much larger wartime spending of the early 1940s produced a full recovery.

Today, the economy is growing only weakly. 7.8 million jobs have been lost in the recession. Consumers, having suffered losses in home values and retirement savings, are tightening their belts. The business sector, uncertain about consumer spending, is reluctant to invest
in expansion or job creation, leaving the economy trapped on a path of slow growth or stagnation. Over 20 million American workers are now unemployed, underemployed or simply have given up looking for a job.

The President and Congress should redouble efforts to create jobs and send aid to the states whose budget crises threaten recovery by forcing them to lay off school teachers, public safety workers, and other essential workers. It also makes sense to invest in public service jobs – and in infrastructure projects for transportation, water, and energy conservation that will make our economy more productive for years to come.

Target what drives deficits. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
Austerity advocates confuse two different issues—short term deficits generated by the recession and long term projections of deficits and debt.

Deficits rose last decade largely due to the Bush tax cuts and the unfunded wars and prescription drug program,but they exploded as a result of the economic crisis. Once prosperity is restored, deficits will be reduced substantially. Over the long term, projections of rising deficits and debt are mainly due to one fundamental factor: rising health care costs.

Contrary to the claims of many deficit hawks, America does not have an entitlement crisis. America has a broken health care system. Efforts to reduce public sector costs without fixing the health care system, such as caps on Medicare and Medicaid spending or replacing them
with vouchers, will undermine the effectiveness of these programs, but won’t fix the broken health care system. The health care reform bill passed earlier this year may be a first step towards repairing the health care system, but much more will need to be done.

Social Security has nothing to do with our current deficit. It is supported by its own dedicated payroll taxes (which were increased to build up a trust fund to cover the baby boomers’ retirement). Social Security has actually reduced the unified budget deficit for the most of the last three decades and will continue to do so for most of the next decade. Making sure Social Security is solvent for the next century should be dealt with separately from any process set up to address short or longterm deficits, and can be accomplished with minor adjustments.

Restore fiscal responsibility, while investing in the future.
The president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has set a goal of reducing the Federal deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2015. It is not clear that this arbitrary target can be met without damaging our recovery. In any case, the goals of economic policy must be far broader.

The most important question is this: What will drive economic growth, job creation and prosperity in the years to come? Conservatives argue that we should simply reduce deficits and wait for the next economic boom. But the last boom was built on a bubble, inflated by unsustainable household debt and financial speculation. If we focus merely on cutting spending and raising taxes, the economy could shrink again – or stay stuck in a permanently low level of growth and high levels of
unemployment.

President Barack Obama has called on us to build a new foundation for the economy. This requires making investments vital to our future – in education and training, in research and development, in a modern infrastructure for the 21st century. It requires ending our addiction to oil, and capturing a lead role in the green industrial revolution, creating the next generation of green jobs.

Study after study demonstrates that America has a huge “public investment deficit” in areas vital to our economy. Some estimates suggest a shortfall in public investment of as much as $500 billion a year. As long as we have unacceptably high unemployment, outlays for additional investment can be deficit-financed. But once we achieve a robust recovery, our country should continue to pay for productive public investment, while acting to bring down public deficits. This will require new revenues.

We must have the confidence to forge our future. At the end of World War II, the US was burdened with debt that totaled over 120% of GDP. But we made the investments vital to a new economy – the GI Bill, housing subsidies, the interstate highway system, the conversion of military plants, and the Marshall plan. We ran annual deficits over most of the next three decades and the debt grew in absolute size, but the economy and the broad middle class grew faster. By 1980, the debt had been reduced to barely 30% of GDP. The better way to reduce the deficit as a percent of GDP is to increase GDP.

Even with a growing economy, increased investment and deficit reduction will require new sources of revenue, new priorities and a crackdown on wasteful subsidies.

Below are a range of measures which could be used to reduce the deficit and finance needed investments. Not all signers endorse every one of these options:

Any effort to cut spending should address the military budget, which consumes over half of discretionary spending. Much of our huge military spending is devoted to weapons designed to counter a Soviet Union that is no more. Defense experts estimate we could achieve significant Pentagon savings – in the range of $100 billion per year – while still sustaining the most powerful military in the world. We can use funds freed up to invest in new manufacturing industries that make our nation more secure.

Second, we should cut back the massive amounts wasted on outmoded subsidies – billions to the oil industry, to wasteful farm subsidies, and tax loopholes benefitting a few, with little productive return.

On the revenue side, in an era of Gilded Age inequality, progressive tax reform is long overdue. Revenue for reducing deficits and increasing investment can be raised by making taxes more progressive and by taxing activities we want to discourage. Some examples:


• A small tax on financial transactions (e.g. 0.025 percent on credit default swaps) would reduce high volume speculation and would produce revenues of at least $177 billion per year..
• The Wyden-Gregg corporate loophole-closing proposals produce $1.078 trillion over ten years.
• Taxing hedge fund mangers’ “carried interest” income as regular income gains $3 billion per year.
• End special tax treatment of capital gains income. Revenue: $480 billion over ten years.
• A 5.4 percent surcharge on high incomes (passed by the House) produces $500 billion over ten years.
• A carbon tax would help reverse climate change. Revenue: $500 billion over ten years.
• End Bush tax cuts for people making more than 250k. Revenue: $678 billion over ten years.
• One version of a progressive estate tax on large fortunes would generate $50 billion per year.

Any value-added tax that amounts to a regressive sales tax on the working middle class should not be part of this package. There may be a future case for a VAT, perhaps to fund progressive social programs or replace even more regressive taxes, but not for deficit reduction.

Take the high road to fiscal balance.
There are two alternative paths to long-term fiscal balance.

The less desirable path is austerity economics: government sharply cuts spending long before full employment is reached; production stagnates; revenues decline. We might reach budget balance but at a lower level of economic output, with increased taxes on working Americans and reduced public services.

The alternative, high-road path would increase public spending financed by deficits for a year or two until unemployment is definitely on a downward trend and GDP is rising rapidly. We then collect more revenues from a stronger economy. By identifying investments vital to our future, and paying for them with targeted spending cuts and progressive tax reforms, our country provides the basis for new private-sector investments that help fuel growth, generating greater revenues while reducing the deficit. The benefit of this second path is that government moves towards a reduction in annual deficits and a lowering of the debt-to-GDP ratio, at a higher level of economic output, while building a new basis for long-term prosperity.

 

PLEASE COMPLETE THIS TOBACCO SURVEY


Your Input Is Needed!

Community Action Partnership – Client Tobacco Use Survey

The Community Action Partnership, together with Break Free Alliance and West Virginia University, invite you to participate in a new national tobacco control research study. The purpose of the study is to gain insight on what current tobacco control efforts are taking place within Community Action Agency facilities across the country. The research will be collected through a short, ten question survey, taking no more than 5-10 minutes of the participant’s time. If you are at least 18 years of age and affiliated with a CAP agency, then we encourage you to take part in this exciting study! Your answers will be kept confidential. Please also share this survey with those who qualify to participate, but may not receive this publication.

To take the survey, use the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/X7SM9RZ

For any questions about the survey and/or details about the research study you can contact, Robert Anderson, West Virginia University’s Department of Community Medicine at (304) 293-1828 or Joie Brown, Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. at (907) 865-7356.

To learn more about Break Free Alliance, please visit www.breakfreealliance.org
Thank you for participating!

THANK YOU MAINE CAA FOR THIS USEFUL
MODEL OF STATE POVERTY ANALYSIS

 

Poverty Report Produced for Maine Community Action Association

Poverty in Maine 2010 is intended to (1) present an objective current picture of poverty and economic distress in Maine and trends in indicators over time and (2) document some key programs and benefits aimed at addressing poverty in the state in order to help illuminate potential areas of unmet need. The hope is that the information and analysis presented can be used to help facilitate program planning and policy.

Please click here to read the report.

 

PARTNERSHIP WITH FOODSOURCE 

Partnership Members Enjoy Significant Savings on Food and
Supplies with FoodSource Plus


Community Action Partnership is pleased to announce its newest member benefit that can save you money on your food and supply purchases: FoodSource Plus! FoodSource Plus is a food and supply purchasing company—no cost to you—that is saving human service organizations thousands of dollars on food, cleaning supplies and paper goods. As a nationally endorsed savings program, more than 2,000 agencies are utilizing FoodSource Plus as a way to save 10-35% on their purchases.

“The FoodSource Partnership has been an excellent addition to the National and Migrant Seasonal Association and its members". My own Agency, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo has reaped the benefits of our partnership! Kelly Fargo will work with you!” — Biz Steinberg, Executive Director, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo and President of National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association

How it works: FoodSource has arrangements with food wholesalers and distribution companies across the country, and their expertise is in negotiating the lowest possible costs for groceries, paper goods and cleaning supplies offered by these vendors. FoodSource Plus customers are part of a program that is not affiliated with any one food service distributor or manufacturer, so you receive the best, most comprehensive and affordable food and supply services available. FoodSource guarantees your pricing with the distributor in their network, and there is no outside sales rep adjusting the pricing to increase profit margins. If you choose to sign on with FoodSource after seeing how much they can save you, they will make the transition to the distributor in their network smooth and painless, transferring your order guides and supporting your staff every step of the way.

Additional Benefits: In addition to saving money on the products you are already buying, FoodSource Plus will also create menus and order guides based on your budget and resources, also providing you with a nutritional analysis of every meal you are serving. They will also provide you with menu and inventory management services that allow you to improve your purchasing procedures and set budgets.

Watch the eNews and The Promise for additional information and news. To request a free, no obligation savings analysis detailing how much FoodSource Plus can save you, visit www.foodsourceplus.com or contact Kelly Fargo at 805-705-2003, kfargo@foodsourceplus.com.

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