Most Americans have a vague notion about the national debt, but how many of us really understand the repercussions of a $9 trillion debt? In their new book, Where Does the Money Go?, authors Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson examine the way a looming federal budget crisis threatens to affect personal savings, retirement and mortgages.
Edward Berkowitz is a professor of history and public administration and at George Washington University, where he also directs the Program in History and Public Policy. He is an expert on the history of Social Security.
We talk about the state of welfare with journalist Jason DeParle (dee- PARL). De Parle has been covering welfare for the last 10 years. He has been monitoring welfare programs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where work requirements have been the toughest. He just finished a yearlong series for the New York Times, about the changes in the welfare system. He says that although there are far fewer people on welfare, the lives of the poor haven’t changed much.
The Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center was Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation with the Department of Health and Human Services. He resigned last September because of his disapproval of President Clinton's welfare-reform bill. Edelman criticizes the bill as not promoting job obtainment and as damaging to the lives of poor children and legal immigrants.
Sociologist and foremost authority on urban poverty William Julius Wilson. He was with the University of Chicago for 24 years before becoming the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at Harvard. His new book is "When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor" (Knopf). He looks at how joblessness has affected inner city neighborhoods. He says that the consequences of high joblessness in the inner city are more devastating than those of high neighborhood poverty.
The health care analyst and substance abuse expert was LBJ's assistant for domestic affairs from 1959-65 and Secretary for Health, Education and Welfare under Jimmy Carter from 1977-79. He has written a book about health care reform called "Radical Surgery," and is president of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, a research and experimental care facility at Columbia University. Terry will be talking to him about health care reform, welfare reform and substance abuse.
We'll hear from Jason DeParle. He covers anti-poverty policy for the New York Times. With the new Congress in session, a major debate over America's social welfare policy is expected. DeParle talks about what proposals we're likely to see from the Republicans and from the Clinton Administration, and how these might affect women and African Americans in particular.
Journalist Nicholas Lemann is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine. He's talks about how politicians need to stop pandering to the middle class at the expense of the working class and minorities.
Author Jonathan Kozol. His new book, Rachel and Her Children, is about The Martinique Hotel, one of the largest welfare hotels in New York City. Kozol spent two years interviewing the families who lived there. Kozol's previous work has focused on inner city education and illiteracy.