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A Bonanza for Scrooge, But a Lump of Coal for Tiny Tim

December 20, 2012

Taken together, the tax and budget bills that the House will vote on tonight are extraordinary in their reach and their potential impact — providing massive new tax cuts to people with incomes over $1 million and the heirs of the wealthiest Americans, and cutting deeply into basic assistance and services for millions of our poorest and most vulnerable people.  That the House is debating these...

The Chained CPI: A Response to Robert Kuttner

December 19, 2012

The President’s decision to include, in his latest “fiscal cliff” offer to House Speaker John Boehner, a proposal to use the “chained Consumer Price Index” in calculating both annual cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other benefits and annual inflation adjustments to various features of the tax code (such as the incomes at which tax brackets begin and end) is...

The Misinformed Attack on Medicaid Provider Taxes

December 10, 2012

With the “fiscal cliff” approaching and policy decisions pending on a wide array of budgetary fronts, the risk is growing that policymakers could adopt changes that affect millions of people based on limited understanding, or even misunderstanding, of the proposals’ impacts — especially on people at the bottom of the economic scale or otherwise vulnerable or frail.

One example involves...

New Toomey Plan Not a Useful Step Toward a Compromise Deficit Agreement

July 26, 2012

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) this week outlined what he described as a compromise deficit-reduction proposal that includes significant revenues.  The reality is very nearly the opposite.
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The Toomey proposal includes only modest revenues, and it then...

Don’t Blame the Safety Net

May 10, 2012

Federal spending on low-income programs has gone up considerably in recent years, a development discussed at a recent House Budget Committee hearing.  A new CBPP analysis examines why and explains that low-income programs outside of health care are not a factor in our serious long-term budget problems.  Here’s the opening:...

Senator Toomey’s Tax Plan Can’t Do Everything That He Says It Does

February 16, 2012

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) pounced on CNN’s Soledad O’Brien this week when she raised findings from an analysis that CBPP issued last fall of the tax plan that the Senator proposed to the congressional “Supercommittee.”  Senator Toomey asserted that a finding that O’Brien cited — that his tax plan would raise taxes on people making less than $200,000 — was “factually wrong and ridiculous.”...

Repairing the Safety Net

February 7, 2012

Mitt Romney said last week that if the safety net “needs a repair, I’ll fix it.”  It does need some repair, as our recent blog series explained.  That is, the safety net works but still...

Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

February 1, 2012

As you may have heard, Mitt Romney said this morning, “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it.” We’re glad the governor is expressing support for a safety net and for fixing it if it needs repair.  Yet his own...

Romney’s Wrong: Federal Low-Income Program Dollars Go Overwhelmingly to Beneficiaries

January 12, 2012

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed a proposal to eliminate major federal assistance programs for low-income Americans and turn them over to the states, often with deep funding cuts.  But the rationale he offered for doing so in this past Sunday’s “Meet the Press” debate — that the federal bureaucracy eats up most of the money Congress provides for these programs, and little...

An Appalling Idea, Even by Washington Standards

January 6, 2012

For legislation to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, House Republicans are expected to push for a provision on unemployment insurance (UI) that is appalling even by current Washington standards.  Neither President Obama nor Congress should accept any payroll-tax legislation that includes it.  Here’s why:...

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