October 9, 2013

12 ways government spending supports vulnerable people

October 9, 2013


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


As an organization, the Urban Institute does not take positions on issues. Experts are independent and empowered to share their evidence-based views and recommendations shaped by research.


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