This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, the economy, state budgets, and TANF.
- On the federal budget and taxes, Paul Van de Water explained why policymakers should not use “dynamic scoring” to estimate how tax reform proposals would affect the budget, and elaborated on how using it could increase the deficit and threaten the progressivity of the tax code. Chad Stone highlighted a Carlyle Group report that, like our recent analysis, concludes that allowing the tax and spending changes required under current law to briefly go into effect in January may be our best hope for breaking the current budget gridlock and improving the long-term economy. And, Kelsey Merrick clarified several facts about Pell Grants that a recent Wall Street Journal editorial ignored or distorted.
- On the economy, Chad Stone pointed to evidence that the 2009 Recovery Act kept real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product from falling more and the unemployment rate from rising more than they did.
- On state budgets, Liz McNichol outlined some basic facts on state and local employees that are worth keeping in mind with public workers once again in the news.
- On TANF, LaDonna Pavetti highlighted a recent Huffington Post article that showed some of the devastating effects that the safety net’s failure can have on families.
In other news, we released a report on why budget plans should not rely on “dynamic scoring.”