In a new framing paper, Mitchell Barnes, Lauren Bauer, Wendy Edelberg, Sara Estep, Robert Greenstein, and Moriah Macklin examine the U.S. social insurance system. They consider the social insurance system as a whole as well as its component parts, providing an overview of major federal programs in the areas of education and workforce development, health, income support, nutrition, and housing opportunity.
In this proposal Robert Collinson, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Benjamin Keys propose a plan to support homeowners and renters to stabilize households and housing markets during future economic downturns. Their proposal would create new emergency rental assistance accounts for low-income households; implement an automatic, three-month forbearance period for vulnerable mortgage borrowers in response to elevated local unemployment; and establish a permanent tax credit exchange program that would allow states to exchange tax credits for direct subsidies at a fiscally neutral price when demand from tax credit investors falls.
In this proposal, Richard Arum and Mitchell Stevens propose twin federal government initiatives to incentivize innovation in instructional delivery throughout the national postsecondary ecology, to bridge the divide between academia and the workforce system, and to accrete a cumulative science of adult learning.
Consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of aggregate expenditures in the economy, slows sharply during recessions. This slowdown can exacerbate employment losses and reduced production, making a recession even worse. Claudia Sahm proposes automatic direct payments to individuals to support consumer spending when the national unemployment rate rapidly rises.
In the face of large declines in tax revenues and increased demand for state programs during and after recessions, state governments are often forced to raise taxes, cut programs, or both. In order to protect state Medicaid programs and counteract recessions, Matthew Fiedler, Jason Furman, and Wilson Powell III propose to automatically increase the federal share of expenditures under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program when a state’s unemployment rate exceeds a threshold level.
Low recipiency rates and an imperfect Extended Benefits program weaken the unemployment insurance program’s effectiveness during recessions. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich and John Coglianese propose five reforms to strengthen the automatic stabilization functions of the unemployment insurance system.