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off the charts

In Case You Missed It...


This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, safety net programs, the economy, and health care.

  • On the federal budget and taxes, we highlighted two backgrounders that explain where our federal tax dollars come from and what they pay for.  Chuck Marr explained that the recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that allowing President Bush’s tax cuts on income over $250,000 to expire on schedule at the end of 2012 would generate $950 billion in lower deficits over ten years.
  • On safety net programs, LaDonna Pavetti marked the 16th anniversary of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by recommending a series of reforms that would boost TANF’s effectiveness as both a safety net and a work program.
  • On the economy, Paul Van de Water discussed CBO’s annual summer update report, finding that its view of the budget and economic outlook remains largely unchanged.
  • On health care, Paul Van de Water clarified that private Medicare plans don’t cost less than traditional Medicare.

In other news, we issued a Policy Basics paper that looks at where our federal tax dollars come from.  We also updated our TANF chart book that looks at what the program is accomplishing, where it is falling short, and how policymakers could strengthen it, and our guide for state consumer advocates, policymakers and other stakeholders as they make decisions about implementing health care exchanges.