States help finance most antipoverty programs, but there's a major flaw in this approach: in recessions, need goes up just as state revenues go down. The resulting budget gaps often lead to significant program cutbacks, even when caseloads are on the rise. Federal assistance during the recent recession helped states meet stepped-up demand, but funding is set to expire and unemployment is expected to remain high. Federal and state governments should repair this financing hitch now to protect antipoverty programs.
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