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Different Charts, Same Picture

July 14, 2010

Congress is back in session and will consider extending the parts of last year’s Recovery Act that have provided extra weeks of jobless benefits and aid to cash-strapped states. The graphs below show why it needs to do both.

State Fiscal Crisis 101

June 14, 2010

With President Obama calling on Congress to extend Recovery Act assistance for states, here’s a set of graphics on:

David Broder: “Unconscionable” Cuts to Education

June 7, 2010

“[W]e cannot commit to raising [educational] standards in one breath and turn around and issue layoff notices to thousands of teachers in the next,” columnist David Broder wrote yesterday, terming it “unconscionable” for Congress to fail to help states avert these layoffs. I couldn’t agree more.

State and Local Governments Continuing to Lose Jobs

June 4, 2010

As my colleague Chad Stone explained this morning, today’s jobs report shows that “unemployment is still very high, and jobs are still hard to find.”

Has Congress Turned Its Back on State Budget Problems?

June 3, 2010

As I explained in my statement this morning, today’s report on state budget conditions from the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers shows why it’s so important to restore the state fiscal relief the House suddenly dropped from jobs legislation last week.

The Latest on State Cuts in Education and Services

May 27, 2010

With the House expected to vote today on legislation that includes fiscal relief for states, we’ve updated our reports on state budget cuts and cuts to education programs and jobs. We’ve bulleted and mapped out the highlights below.

QPAI RIP?

May 6, 2010

To help balance the state’s budget, the Vermont legislature has voted to suspend a scheduled increase in an obscure corporate tax break known as the “domestic production deduction.” It’s a sensible move. Other states with this tax break should consider freezing it or, better yet, joining the 22 states that have killed it altogether.

State Budget Cuts Slowing Economy

May 3, 2010

Analyzing the new GDP figures issued Friday, which showed state and local spending falling at the fastest rate in three decades, Matt Yglesias made the important point that the large cuts in state and local spending are a drag on the economy. The new figures are just the latest evidence that Congress should extend the Recovery Act’s fiscal relief to states.

Another State Cuts Low-Income Tax Credits

April 30, 2010

Just before midnight last night, Georgia’s legislature voted to eliminate a tax credit for 1 million workers earning under $20,000, joining several other states that are cutting (or considering cutting) tax benefits for low-income families. While states face severe budget pressures due to the recession, sacrificing their low-income tax credits is a terrible idea, for a host of reasons:

States Split on Taxing the Poor

April 29, 2010

Over the past two decades, a number of states have recognized the folly of taxing working-poor families deeper into poverty and, instead, have eliminated their income taxes on poor — and, in some states, near-poor — households. But our new survey finds that 13 of the 42 states with an income tax still tax two-parent families of four with earnings below the poverty line ($21,947).

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