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."
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.
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.
The number of people on food stamps has been increasing nationwide, reports TheNew 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.
Last month, Brookings released a report that showed poverty on the rise in suburbs, especially in the Midwest -- now, suburbs have the largest share of the nation's poor.
Suburbs often don't have the same same level of services that many cities do, and the absence of things like good public transportation alongside the collapse of boom-era housing are compounding the problem, reports the Christian Science Monitor.