These days, Washington has a reputation for inaction. As a result, many commentators dismissed the President’s 2015 budget proposal despite its powerful call for reducing poverty and increasing opportunity for low-income adults, children, youth, and families. But these ideas are too good to lose, and CLASP has suggestions for how to turn them into action.
What’s in the President’s budget? Broadly, it calls for expanded workforce training for low-skilled adults and high-quality early education for young children – valuing the role of education and opportunity for both generations. It calls for a higher minimum wage and endorses policies that support working families, including resources for states to implement paid family leave and enforcement of existing labor laws. Centered on jobs, the proposal supports young people and childless adults (including non-custodial parents) in low-wage work through an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and increases the availability of subsidized jobs.
How can these good ideas turn into action? One obvious and crucial path is through Congressional enactment. Given the large number of Americans who live in poverty, struggle with low-wage jobs, and cannot access high-quality early education or strong college and career preparation, Congressional action and federal investment are crucial to achieving the President’s goals. But this is not the only way to get started. Two immediate steps can begin to turn these ideas into reality and help Americans living in or near poverty.
Source: CLASP: Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People
Available at: http://www.clasp.org/whats-next