NC State Economist Mike Walden – “Cushioning the Drop”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at cushioning the drop.  Mike, whenever we have a recession, there are set of government programs that can kick in to help families.  Did we see those programs at work during the most recent recession?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Have some automatic programs, like food stamps, Medicaid, and EITC kick in
  2. Also have specially-enacted programs – payroll and income tax cuts, stimulus hiring
  3. Research shows that during the last recession, these programs were very important
  4. Caused median income from 2007 to 2010 to drop 4% instead of the 7% if programs hadn’t been there
  5. In fact, this was more the help than during the previous worst post-war recession of the early 80s – when programs resulted in income dropping 5.8% instead of 6.6%
  6. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.