Urban Wire 12 ways government spending supports vulnerable people
Zachary J. McDade
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The government shutdown is well into its second week and no clear solution is emerging for raising the debt ceiling. Experts agree that defaulting on our debt would produce dire consequences, but it’s hard to say with precision how any given individual might suffer.

Amid this uncertainty, it’s valuable to keep in mind a small list of the ways in which the government supports vulnerable people every day. These are my colleagues’ perspectives on a range of government support programs, some well-known, others not:

While not all of this support is immediately threatened by the current government showdowns, it’s clear that many of our most vulnerable stand to lose if things go dramatically awry.

Illustration by Tim Meko, Urban Institute. Block photos from Shutterstock.

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/ AP

Research Areas Social safety net
Tags Fiscal policy Poverty Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Welfare and safety net programs Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Tracking the economy Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Unemployment and unemployment insurance Hunger and food assistance