Democrats Must Stop Taking the Black Working Class for Granted

A new report from Working America found that black Ohioans were suffering economically during the 2016 presidential election—but did not think a Democratic president would make a difference.

If black Democrats in Ohio fail to vote in larger numbers in the next midterm elections than they did in 2016, Democrats can kiss the state goodbye. That’s what Working America has concluded in a report released Tuesday that assessed the views of black voters in the Buckeye State and made recommendations for how Democrats turn out more of them at the polls. The organization, a political organizing wing of the AFL-CIO focused on the non-union working people, found, unsurprisingly, that black people have very little trust in the political process.

Read more by Collier Meyerson at thenation.com

How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration

–SNIP–A decade ago, liberals publicly questioned immigration in ways that would shock many progressives today.

In 2005, a left-leaning blogger wrote, “Illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.” In 2006, a liberal columnist wrote that “immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants” and that “the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear.” His conclusion: “We’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants.” That same year, a Democratic senator wrote, “When I see Mexican flags waved at proimmigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.”

The blogger was Glenn Greenwald. The columnist was Paul Krugman. The senator was Barack Obama.

Read more by Peter Beinart at theAtlantic.com

Why welfare, food stamps, and other programs often discourage work

Food stamps, welfare, Medicaid and other tax and transfer systems can sometimes penalize people for earning that extra dollar of income

Economists and many policymakers generally agree that our tax and transfer systems should promote opportunity, work, saving, and education rather than consumption. The problem is these programs often penalize people for earning that extra dollar of income. Rather than promoting work and savings, these implicit taxes punish such otherwise positive behavior.

These penalties occur in TANF (formerly welfare), SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), Medicaid, the new health exchange subsidy, Pell grants, student loans, and unemployment compensation. The tax code also is loaded with disincentives to work, save, and study.

Read more by Gene Steuerle at csmonitor.com

Why a single mom is better off with a $29,000 job and welfare than taking a $69,000 job

The U.S. welfare system sure creates some crazy disincentives to working your way up the ladder. Benefits stacked upon benefits can mean it is financially better, at least in the short term, to stay at a lower-paying jobs rather than taking a higher paying job and losing those benefits. This is called the “welfare cliff.”

Let’s take the example of a single mom with two kids, 1 and 4. She has a $29,000 a year job, putting the kids in daycare during the day while she works.

Read more by James Pethokoukis at AEI