off the charts
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
In Case You Missed It...
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget, state budgets and taxes, the new Census Bureau data, health care, poverty and the safety net, and income inequality.
- On the federal budget, Paul Van de Water clarified misconceptions regarding our analysis of the amount of deficit reduction in President Obama’s 2013 budget.
- On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mazerov explained that Amazon’s decision to start charging sales tax to its customers in California will contribute to a fairer tax structure and the preservation of critical services like education and healthcare.
- On the Census Bureau data on poverty, incomes, and health coverage, we issued a roundup of several preview pieces to help readers understand the data. Robert Greenstein released a statement outlining the good, the fair, and the ugly in the Census data. (Also see items below.) And we showed five charts from the Census data.
- On health care, Matt Broaddus previewed the Census data on health coverage and explained that the data show that the number of uninsured Americans fell for the first time in four years. Edwin Park clarified that the House-passed budget includes large cuts to Medicaid in addition to the Medicaid cuts from repealing health reform.
- On poverty and the safety net, Arloc Sherman discussed how improvements in the safety net over the past half century have reduced the reality of poverty, even if the improvement doesn’t show up in the official poverty figures. He also noted that if you count two programs omitted from the official poverty figures, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and SNAP (formerly food stamps), these programs lifted millions of people out of poverty in 2011. And he explained that poverty would have fallen last year if jobless benefits hadn’t shrunk.
- On income inequality, Jared Bernstein pointed out that the Census data show income inequality is at historically high levels. Kathy Ruffing explained that one measure of inequality, the Gini index, shows a steady increase over time.
Receive the latest news and reports from the Center