WASHINGTON—United States Congresswoman and Joint Economic Committee Vice Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today published a major, 50-state report detailing over $200 billion human and economic costs of gun violence. The costs include lost income and spending, employer costs, police and criminal justice responses and health care treatment.

The new statistics detail the toll of mass shootings, suicide and other firearm violence, and the impact on rural, suburban and urban communities throughout the nation. Click here for the report

Findings include:

  • Rural states (Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and West Virginia) have the highest costs of gun violence measured as a share of their economies.
  • States with high rates of gun ownership (Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, West Virginia and Wyoming) have the highest rates of gun suicide. 
  • High youth death rates extend across region, with Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, and Delaware showing the highest rates.

"The report I am releasing today estimates the high cost of gun violence in all 50 states," Vice Chair Maloney said in a press conference to unveil the report. "The principal, and most painful cost, is the loss of human life. And the economic costs are staggering."

"The gun violence epidemic needs to stop and needed to stop a long time ago," the Congresswoman said. "House Democrats made a good start earlier this year," she said, adding: "And now the Senate needs to act."

Publication of the report came just before a hearing Wednesday afternoon where the family members of victims, experts and advocates testified about the toll of guns in America. 

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, called on members of the Senate to find “the courage to act” to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic. She spoke at a JEC hearing today, which came shortly after the Committee published a state-by-state analysis of gun violence that found the crisis imposes more than $200 billion in total annual costs on the country, which is about 1.4 percent of GDP.

Click here to access the Vice Chair’s prepared statement and witness testimony. Here are key excerpts from the hearing:

“There is no way to estimate ‘cost of a human’ life. The loss is incalculable,” Congresswoman Maloney said in her opening statement. “But there is also economic cost – a lost breadwinner’s income, astronomical medical costs, costs to employers, schools, police, hospitals and the criminal justice system.”

“In the United States, there are more guns in civilian hands than any other country in the world,” she said. “An American is nearly seven times more likely than someone in Canada to die by a gun, eight times more likely than someone in France, almost twenty times more likely than a person in Germany and almost forty times more likely than someone in the UK, Australia or New Zealand.”

The Congresswoman noted the JEC report finds rural states have the highest costs of gun violence as a percent of GDP, and states with high rates of gun ownership have the highest rates of gun suicide. “In contrast, my state of New York, which has stricter gun laws including an assault weapons ban, has one of the three lowest costs of gun violence as a share of its economy, along with Hawaii and Massachusetts.”

“Let us honor the victims of gun violence and their families by working to prevent more victims,” Rep. Maloney said. “Let us – like other countries in the developed world – turn tragedy into bold action. And may all Members of Congress, especially those in the Senate, find the courage to act.”

Here are excerpts from Democratic witnesses at the hearing:

“The potential return on a nationwide investment in stopping gun violence would be huge in both lives and taxpayer dollars,” according to Democratic witness Adam Skaggs, chief counsel and policy director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 

“Data compiled by Giffords Law Center has made clear for years that states with stronger gun laws have lower rates of gun deaths and spend less on gun violence than states with weaker laws,” Mr. Skaggs said in his opening remarks. “But our federal laws remain porous and ineffective and gun violence continues to be a tremendous public health and safety crisis that costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year.”

“We should all be free to live without the fear of being shot,” according to Tina Meins, whose father was killed in the San Bernardino, California shooting in 2015. “No one law can stop all gun violence, but there’s so much more we must do to keep our families safe. The House of Representatives has already passed bipartisan legislation to require background checks on all gun sales and is considering a strong Red Flag law. Now, the Senate must act on background checks and pass a strong Red Flag bill.”

“Across the country, survivors of gunshot wounds experience difficulties ranging from psychological trauma, loss of work, and steep medical costs,” she said in her opening remarks. “Even after the immediate hospital costs, survivors of gunshot wounds face a lifetime of medical care costs including readmission to the hospital and nursing care…One study put the cumulative lifetime costs of treating gunshot wounds incurred in a single year in this country at $2.3 billion.”

Press contact
Randy Woods
Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2599

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY

Joint Economic Committee Vice Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) on Wednesday, September 18 will discuss gun violence during a 10:00 a.m. press conference and a 2:15 p.m. hearing, both in Washington, DC.

The press conference will focus on the impacts of gun violence, and it will include release of a report on the high cost of gun violence, both human and economic, in the United States – with data on all 50 states.

Gun violence in the United States costs more than $200 billion annually. The report finds that it takes a greater toll on rural states, which bear the highest per capita economic costs. States with high rates of gun ownership experience the highest rates of gun suicide. The release of these findings coincides with Suicide Prevention Month.

Rep. Maloney will speak, followed by Lori Haas, mother of a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacred and Senior Director of Advocacy for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Adam Skaggs, Policy Director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, will also speak.

The press conference will be in room HVC-201-AB, which is in the House side of the Capitol Visitor Center.


PRESS CONFERENCE

WHO:     Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
               Adams Skaggs, Policy Director, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
               Lori Haas, Mother of survivor of Virginia Tech massacre, Senior Director of Advocacy for     
               the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

WHERE:   House Visitors Center, room HVC-201-AB

WHEN:     Wednesday, September 18, 10:00 am

 

HEARING

The JEC hearing, “Gun Violence in America: Understanding and Reducing the Costs of Firearm Injuries and Deaths,” will take place at 2:15 p.m. in 210 Cannon House Office Building. A live stream of the hearing will be available on the Committee website: https://www.jec.senate.gov/.

Hearing Witnesses:

Mr. Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel & Policy Director
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
New York, NY

Ms. Tina Meins, Member
Everytown Survivor Network
Washington, DC

Dr. John Lott, Jr., President
Crime Prevention Research Center
Alexandria, VA

Dr. Suzanna Hupp
Former Member of the Texas House of Representatives
Lampasas Co., Texas 

Hearing Background:

The witnesses invited by Vice Chair Maloney—Mr. Skaggs and Ms. Meins—will focus on the high economic, social and personal costs of gun violence and the need to change laws to change results.

Mr. Skaggs will discuss the economic costs of gun violence and advocate for changes to federal laws. Ms. Meins, whose father was killed in the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, will share her family’s experience after the tragedy and the costs and obstacles they have faced.

Republican witnesses are expected to claim that Democratic proposals will make citizens less safe. Dr. Lott wrote the book “More Guns, Less Crime,” and Dr. Hupp is a survivor of the Luby’s Cafeteria mass shooting in Texas in 1991.

 

WHO:              U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, Members and witnesses

WHERE:          Room 210, Cannon House Office Building

WHEN:            Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 2:15 pm

 

Contact: Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov. Please contact Randy if you want embargoed testimony.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, participated in a JEC hearing today that explored policies to help families who find themselves squeezed by rising costs and relatively stagnant wages.

Here are key excerpts from the hearing, which included two witnesses invited by Congresswoman Maloney: Dr. Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and Co-Founder of MomsRising:

“Everyone in this room agrees that it’s more expensive than ever to raise a family. But we may disagree about the causes, and we may disagree about the solutions. I welcome the robust discussion that this committee provides,” Congresswoman Maloney said in her opening statement. “The entrance of women in the workforce is not a problem. We may hear that Americans got married less frequently or later in life as women took on careers, and that this hurt fertility rates. But women have become key drivers of our economic success.”

“Some would say that the solution is for the federal government to do nothing. I disagree. It has a key role to play,” she said later in her statement. “Let’s start by lifting the minimum wage. The House has passed legislation to lift the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 and give 33 million Americans a raise.  It’s time for the Senate to follow suit. We should expand programs and initiatives that we know work—like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.”

“So what can we do to better support American families? We need to start by recognizing that in the majority of American families, it is no longer commonplace for there to be a stay-at-home caregiver,” Dr. Waldfogel said in opening remarks. “Our public policies have not kept pace with this new demographic reality.”

“Experts in this room, and around the nation, agree: It’s getting more and more expensive to raise a family and that fact has dire consequences,” Ms. Rowe-Finkbeiner said in her opening statement. “It doesn’t have to be this way. This crisis is born of policies that are outdated and that fail to address the realities of today’s economy and the struggles working families face. In good news, this crisis is solvable.”

Congresswoman Maloney is Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (where she is Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets) and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Press Contact (Democrats): Randy Woods; Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov; 202-503-5943

A hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, “Making It More Affordable to Raise a Family,” will take place Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 2:30 p.m., in 216 Hart Senate Office Building. A live stream of the hearing will be available on the Committee website: https://www.jec.senate.gov/.

Witnesses:

Mr. Lyman Stone, Adjunct Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Research Fellow, Institute for Family Studies
Wilmore, KY

Mr. Ryan Bourne, R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics
Cato Institute
Washington, DC

Dr. Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems
Columbia University School of Social Work
New York, NY

Ms. Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO/Executive Director and Co-Founder
MomsRising
Kirkland, WA

Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will preside. Vice Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) invited two of the witnesses, Dr. Waldfogel and Dr. Rowe-Finkbeiner. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service should contact Amalia Halikias at (202) 577-9447 or hearing@jec.senate.gov.

Background:

The witnesses invited by Vice Chair Maloney will focus on public policies that can help American families overcome economic insecurity and counter child poverty. The testimony occurs as many Americans still struggle to make ends meet amid rising costs and relatively stagnant wage growth. For example, nearly 40 percent of adults report they or their families have trouble paying for at least one basic need like food, housing or health care. And four in 10 Americans say that if they were faced with an unexpected $400 expense, they would be forced to borrow or sell something, or would not be able to pay for it at all, according to a recent Federal Reserve report. Dr. Waldfogel argues that public policies haven’t kept pace with new demographic realities and ignore the challenges that programs like paid family leave would address. And through her grassroots organization, Ms. Rowe-Finkbeiner leads campaigns to support workplace and maternal justice, including gender pay equality, affordable early care and nutrition programs including SNAP.

Press Contact (Democrats): Randy Woods; Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov; 202-503-5943

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 130,000 in August and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2 percent from the prior year.

“Today’s job numbers are somewhat disappointing, especially considering temporary Census jobs padded the numbers by 25,000. It’s becoming clear the Trump Administration’s erratic trade policies are hurting businesses and consumers, while the $1.9 trillion Republican tax cut did more to reward the wealthy than provide a lasting boost to workers. I’m concerned that we may see more lackluster jobs numbers in coming quarters, as independent economists and organizations including the Federal Reserve and Congressional Budget Office all forecast economic growth will slow this year and next.”

“And in light of today’s figures, it’s important to remember the millions of Americans left behind. Poor and many middle-class families are still struggling. Black and Hispanic unemployment rates remain above jobless rates for whites and Asians. And the share of women working or seeking work hasn’t fully recovered from the last downturn, as many face discrimination in the workplace or cannot afford to place their children in day care.”

“There’s a lot Congress can do to address these problems. I urge the Senate to pass legislation already approved in the House that would allow federal workers to care for a child or sick family member without facing financial hardship. And it’s important for Congress to approve a bill that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to report economic growth by income decile and the top 1 percent. That would help us measure inequality and implement programs and policies to ensure that everyone in this country can enjoy the benefits of economic growth.”

Congresswoman Maloney, author of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (H.R. 1534), introduced the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in June along with Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA). The legislation, which passed the House in July, would provide 12 weeks of paid leave to federal employees to care for themselves and family members. Congresswoman Maloney also introduced the Measuring Real Income Growth Act (H.R. 707) this Congress and in the 115th Congress. The legislation would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to publish distributional analyses of gross domestic product.

Press contact: Randy Woods; Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov; (202) 224-2599

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its second estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). The report showed that GDP expanded at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the second three months of 2019, a downward revision from the initial estimate of 2.1 percent growth.

 “It wasn’t long ago that the President was boasting—wrongly—that he had created the best economy of all time. Now it seems that his wrong-headed policies are throwing sand in the gears of economic growth.”

 “The President knows his tax cuts have given the economy no more than a sugar high, so he has floated the idea of more tax cuts, including another giveaway to the wealthy in the form of tax reductions for investors. That would make income inequality even worse, especially after the 2017 tax cuts favored the fortunate few. On top of all that, Trump’s erratic policies including an escalating trade war with China and attempts to politicize the Fed have hurt business confidence.”

 “Today’s report shows that gains in consumer spending are offsetting declines in investments, which were supposed to soar under the new tax cuts. Meanwhile manufacturing is showing signs of weakness as Trump’s trade wars raise the cost of imports and undermine American exports. In light of the growing risks to our economy, we should focus on rebuilding our dilapidated infrastructure, better educating our children and improving health care services.”

Congresswoman Maloney is Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (where she is Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets) and the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Press contact
Randy Woods
Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2599

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement to accompany publication of Retirement Insecurity, a report written at her request by the Democratic staff of the committee. The release of the report coincides with the 84th anniversary of the Social Security Act.

“Since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the legislation into law on this day in 1935, Social Security has prevented millions of Americans from falling into poverty and has become a pillar of retirement security in our country.”

“Despite Social Security’s success, the other two major components of our nation’s retirement system – private savings and pensions – are failing hardworking Americans. As a result, roughly half of Americans are at risk of losing their current standard of living in retirement.”

“Americans find it increasingly hard to save for retirement amid stagnant wages and the rising cost of housing, health care and college. Meanwhile the share of workers who receive pensions has almost fallen in half since the late 1980s. And only about half of middle-income workers and less than 10 percent of the poorest Americans have defined-contribution accounts like 401(k)s.”

“These problems are particularly acute for women, minorities and people with low earnings or less education. Women, African Americans and Hispanics on average have less saved for retirement and less retirement income. Women, in particular African American and Hispanic women, are at greater risk of outliving their retirement savings.”

“As a result, it is particularly important to protect and strengthen Social Security, while recognizing that the rest of our retirement system is in crisis.”

Press contact:
Randy Woods
Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2599

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 164,000 in July and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2 percent from the prior year.

“I am pleased to see that employers continue to hire at a solid pace as part of the longest U.S. economic recovery on record. The economy has withstood President Trump’s erratic policies, including trade disputes with China and some of our closest allies that have contributed to a slowdown in global manufacturing.”

“Today’s report reveals persistent inequalities that show not everyone is benefiting from the recovery. Black and Hispanic unemployment rates remain higher than those for whites and Asians, while the share of women working or seeking work hasn’t fully recovered from the last downturn.”

“That is why I urge Congress to approve legislation that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to report economic growth by income decile and the top 1 percent. That would help us measure inequality and implement programs and policies to ensure that everyone in this country can achieve the American dream.”

Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Measuring Real Income Growth Act (H.R. 707) this Congress and in the 115th Congress. The legislation would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to publish distributional analyses of gross domestic product.

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its initial estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). The report showed that GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second three months of 2019 following a 3.1 percent increase in the previous quarter.

 “Today’s GDP report was somewhat underwhelming, considering this administration passed $1.9 trillion in tax cuts on the promise they would lead to a sustainable increase in growth. Private investment, which was supposed to benefit from the tax law, dropped considerably. While one quarterly GDP reading doesn’t constitute a trend, it’s worth remembering that the Congressional Budget Office, Federal Reserve and International Monetary Fund all forecast growth will start slowing this year.”

“It is becoming clear that the 2017 GOP tax law was a boon to the fortunate few that will worsen income inequality and make it harder for the federal government to stimulate growth in the next recession. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration continues to impose policies that undermine our economy such as massive tariffs while engaging in reckless behavior that creates uncertainty among businesses.”

 “Today’s report shows consumer spending accelerated while private investment contracted. Manufacturing has shown signs of slowing in recent months as Trump’s tariffs raise the cost of imports and a global economic slowdown reduces demand for American exports. In light of the growing risks to our economy, we should focus on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, better educating our children and improving health care services.”

“We also need to improve our understanding of who benefits and loses out in our economy. We don’t know how growth is distributed across incomes, though trends would suggest those at the top are reaping most of the advantages.”

“That is why I urge BEA to move quickly to prepare distributional analyses of income growth. This information will provide policymakers a fuller understanding of whom the economy is working for, enabling us to create programs that increase opportunity and reduce inequality.”

Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Measuring Real Income Growth Act (H.R. 707) this Congress and also in the 115th Congress. The bill would require BEA to analyze GDP by each decile of income earners and the top 1 percent. It would also require the agency to report this data in quarterly and annual reports, beginning in 2020.

Press contact
Randy Woods
Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2599