This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, December 21, 2015

Good News for US Demography from the Budget Resolution

An email from the Population Association of America a short while ago confirmed what I had seen from other sources regarding the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill--things didn't turn out as badly as feared--so that's good news (or, at the least, the absence of bad news).
In two significant respects, the overall picture that has emerged is very positive: first, nearly every agency of interest to the PAA received an increase over FY 2015 funding levels; and second, the final bill did not include problematic language, including provisions that would have adversely affected the American Community Survey and the National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral and Economic Directorate.
The caveat here is that the bill only keeps the government running through fiscal year 2016, which actually ends on 30 September 2016, so it won't be long before Congress is at our throats again on these issues. And, when that happens, we will be into the last stages of the run for the White House, so that could spell trouble in a variety of ways. However, on a more positive note, I have to think that Paul Ryan has been doing a much more effective job as Speaker of the House than John Boehner ever did in keeping the eyes of Congress on what is important for the country. We all know that the collection of the best data possible about the population and economy is essential for policy-making. Some members of Congress are obviously threatened by reality, and this battle for sane budget decisions has not been laid to rest--it is just getting a much needed breather.

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