This week on Off the Charts, we took a closer look at the economy and efforts by states to balance their budgets.
Chief Economist Chad Stone examined the employment situation in a sequence of charts (in light of today’s Labor Department employment report). Donna Pavetti, director of our welfare reform and income support division, highlighted a little-known job-creating provision of last year’s Recovery Act that could disappear soon. Nick Johnson, director of our state fiscal project, explained how state budget cuts are slowing the economic recovery.
Nick also sat down with us to discuss how state budget shortfalls and program cuts are affecting education reform and causing large-scale teacher layoffs. The Vermont legislature has voted to help balance its budget by freezing a planned increase in a corporate tax break, which Nick argued was a good move and one that other states should adopt. And Phil Oliff, state fiscal policy analyst, showed that fewer states are taxing the working poor, though budget problems could lead to backsliding in some states.
We also sat down with Jim Horney for the fifth Q & A in our series on health reform and the deficit. He explained how expanding coverage will lower health costs over time.
In other news at the Center, we released a statement by Chad Stone on the April employment report, a report on the large amounts that states are borrowing from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits, and a report explaining why Congress should extend the Recovery Act’s TANF Emergency Fund.