Monica Potts

Monica Potts is a senior writer for The American Prospect. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. She also blogs at PostBourgie.

Recent Articles

How Much Does Bayh Matter?

Not only did Evan Bayh rob Democrats of a sure election bet for Indiana, but he did it in such a way they'll have a hard time recovering: The senator announced his resignation days away from a deadline to qualify for the primary ballot and without informing senior Democratic leadership. Nate Silver points out how important Bayh was for Democrats, and, therefore, how bad his loss is for the party.

How Much Should a Government Employee Make?

Sen. Scott Brown is the latest to mount an attack on "lavish" federal wages. It's yet another version of the conservative attack on government.

The Wethersfield, Connecticut, Department of Motor Vehicles. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

On his inaugural spin on the Sunday talk show circuit, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts called for a freeze on federal-employee pay, which he said was twice that of private-sector counterparts. It was an issue he campaigned on as a way to bring government spending under control. "Lavish pay and benefit packages have unfortunately become a way of life for public employees," he said at an event in January. "It's time to bring fiscal sanity to Washington. I support a temporary freeze on federal wages until the Congress devises a plan to control spending and debt."

Funding Teacher Training.

Teach for America is poised to lose its dedicated $18 million grant from the federal government and will instead have to compete for a bigger pool of money with other organizations that train teachers, reports the Washington Post today. The Department of Education presents the proposal as a good thing for the nonprofit, since they could receive more money. But, of course, the agency spokesperson says losing the guaranteed level of funding for the risk of competition is hard.

Paying Too Well?

ProPublica shouldn't pay so well. At least, that's the argument it sounds like Felix Salmon is trying to make over at Reuters today regarding a ProPublica advertisement for an intern to make $700 per week. He extrapolates that salary rate for the 12-week internship into what it would mean annually, about $36,000.

Feeding the Poor.

The number of people on food stamps has been increasing nationwide, reports The New York Times. The growth comes not just through increased need but also through government outreach and promotion of the nutrition program on behalf of states. And the trend began way before the recent downturn:

The revival began a decade ago, after tough welfare laws chased millions of people from the cash rolls, many into low-wage jobs as fast-food workers, maids, and nursing aides. Newly sympathetic officials saw food stamps as a way to help them. For states, the program had another appeal: the benefits are federally paid.