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January 12, 2013 at 12:19 AM


This week on Off the Charts, we focused on deficits and debt, Social Security, and state budgets and taxes.

  • On deficits and debt, Robert Greenstein discussed why tax reform that is revenue neutral — and thus doesn’t contribute to deficit reduction — would be a big mistake.  We highlighted his commentary on the threats that the next round of budget negotiations poses, especially to low-income people, and explained why further deficit reduction shouldn’t come entirely from spending cuts.  We also pointed to our new analysis on how much additional deficit reduction is needed to stabilize the debt and noted that program cuts far outweigh tax increases in deficit reduction to date.
  • On Social Security, Paul Van de Water debunked a recent claim that the program’s long-term financing challenge is much more serious than the official projections show.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Elizabeth McNichol listed four reasons why, despite recent good news, state budget troubles are not a thing of the past.

In other news, we released Robert Greenstein’s commentary on the next round of deficit negotiations, as well as papers on how $1.4 trillion in deficit savings is needed to stabilize the debt and how achieving further deficit reduction through spending cuts alone would harm the poor and middle class.  We also updated our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state, our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession, and our guides to online services for key low-income benefit programs and state government SNAP websites.

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently.  Here are some highlights:

The Mostly Solved Deficit Problem
New York Times
January 10, 2013

How much more deficit reduction do we need? CBPP says $1.4 trillion.
Washington Post, Wonkblog
January 10, 2013

Unfinished business
Akron Beacon Journal
January 8, 2013

Next Round on the Deficit: Big Dangers Ahead for the Economy, the Budget, and Low-Income People
Huffington Post
January 7, 2013

The real deficit argument
Washington Post
January 7, 2013

Finished With Taxes? Not Even Close
The New Republic
January 6, 2013

For Obama, a Victory That Also Holds Risks
New York Times
January 3, 2013