Will the Stimulus Plan Help the Hood?

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I spoke on  conference call to White House Chief Economist for the Vice President Jared Bernstein about the stimulus package. I asked him what the stimulus plan will do for inner city schools. He answered my question honestly and assured me that a good deal of the money will help people in urban areas through education and job training.

Here is an AP Report on how the stimulus plan money will be spent.

More than 37 million Americans live in poverty, and the vast majority of them are in line for extra help under the giant stimulus package coming out of Congress. Millions more could be kept from slipping into poverty by the economic lifeline.

People who get food stamps — 30 million and growing — will get more. People drawing unemployment checks — 4.8 million and growing — would get an extra $25, and keep those checks coming longer. People who get Supplemental Security Income — 7 million poor Americans who are elderly, blind or disabled — would get one-time extra payments of $250.

Many low-income Americans also are likely to benefit from a trifecta of tax credits: expansions to the existing Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, and a new refundable tax credit for workers. Taken together, the three credits are expected to keep more than 2 million Americans from falling into poverty, including more than 800,000 children, according to the private Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The package also includes $3 billion emergency fund to provide temporary assistance to needy families.

There are other, more indirect ways that the stimulus package is likely to benefit poor people.

For example, cash-strapped states will get an infusion of $87 billion for Medicaid, the government health program for poor people, and that should help them avoid cutting off benefits to the needy. In addition, more federal dollars will flow to high-poverty areas for education programs and preventing homelessness.

Advocates for the poor say that directing stimulus money to the neediest Americans makes sense because they’re the most likely to put cash back into the economy quickly.

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