The New Year is right around the corner, and while most people are probably worrying about their New Year’s Resolutions, there are still concerns about the fiscal cliff. Depending on the President’s and Congress’ decision, America’s economy may have to face reduced spending for safety net programs and tax increases on higher income families to address the nation’s deficit. On Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, held an event at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. to discuss what’s in store for the next four years.
Two major political figures and a panel of experts with extensive experience in previous administrations talked about the impact of the election on programs affecting the poor and the opportunities for economic advancement. In particular, panelists were vocal about proposals intended to help the economy by spending on safety nets for the poor.
“We need to preserve the safety net,” said Isabel Sawhil, senior fellow and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. The safety net includes programs that promote upward mobility like Social Security and the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as Food Stamps and Medicaid.