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No, We Don’t Spend $1 Trillion on Welfare Each Year (WaPo)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal counters this common conservative talking point, along with the claim that welfare spending doesn't reduce poverty. Mike takes care to define which programs are really "welfare," and it turns out those programs are quite successful.
Internet In America: An On Again, Off Again Relationship (NPR)
Arun Roth speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford about the problems with high-speed internet access in the United States. She says that the U.S. is falling behind, and calls for a public infrastructure project to bring fiber optic access to all.
The 2013 Employment Story: Yet Another Year of McJob Growth (The Atlantic)
Jordan Weissmann writes that 2013 follows the trend set in 2011 and 2012 with 182,000 new jobs per month in the U.S., but those numbers say nothing about the kind of jobs being created, and he argues we're becoming accustomed to growth in low-wage fields.
Number of Americans Looking for Work at Lowest Level Since 1970s (The Guardian)
Dominic Rushe looks at the December jobs report from the Department of Labor and points out that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent primarily because of people giving up their search for work and dropping out of the labor force.
Doctors Slam Proposed Food Stamp Cuts: ‘The Dumbest Thing You Can Do Is Cut Nutrition’ (ThinkProgress)
Sy Mukherjee reports that the medical community is calling out lawmakers for their failure to see the connection between hunger and health. Saving money on SNAP won't matter if health care costs go up, and research shows those costs would disproportionately hit Medicaid.
New on Next New Deal
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative Director Jeff Madrick argues that the Federal Reserve must maintain monetary stimulus to preserve the recovery, but what's really needed is increased government spending.
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues that expanded monetary policy wasn't enough to offset fiscal austerity in 2013, even according to the benchmarks set by those who predicted the opposite, and that fiscal policy is still needed to keep the economy going.
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn writes that the challenges to the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act lay the groundwork for private employers to deny their employees access to birth control, and potentially to other health services.