off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

In Case You Missed It...

| By CBPP
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, welfare reform, state budgets and taxes, and health care.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang debunked claims that high-end tax cuts help the economy and pointed to tax policy expert Leonard Burman’s congressional testimony on the myth that low capital gains rates are critical to growth.  Paul Van de Water noted that, over their lifetimes, the vast majority of Americans pay federal income tax.  Danilo Trisi showed that most Americans who don’t owe federal income tax in a given year are workers, elderly, disabled, or students.  We also highlighted our new report on why policymakers should shrink the large tax advantages that capital gains enjoy, revisited a post from April to show who pays taxes, and compiled a roundup of key CBPP analyses, blog posts, and graphics that provide context for the debate around federal taxes.
  • On welfare reform, LaDonna Pavetti listed five things to know about the work requirements in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mazerov explained that states and localities stand to lose $3 billion a year from federal legislation that would restrict their ability to tax digital goods such as downloaded music.  Erica Williams discussed how Florida’s proposed constitutional limit on revenues would harm public services such as education, health care, and infrastructure.
  • On health care, Sarah Lueck explained that a bill before the House would weaken a critical health reform provision that encourages insurance companies to be more efficient.  Matt Broaddus noted new Census data showing that the uninsured rate fell in 20 states last year, while rising in just one.
In other news, we issued reports explaining how raising capital gains rates could promote economic efficiency while reducing deficits, analyzing misconceptions and realities about who pays taxes, and delving into new Census data on health coverage.  We also issued a detailed analysis of the 2011 Census data that were released last week and a chart book on 10 Things You Need to Know About the Capital Gains Tax. A variety of news outlets featured the Center’s work and experts this week.  Here are some highlights: QE3 Is Fine But Congress Must Act U.S. News and World Report September 20, 2012 CBO: Digital Goods Bill Would Cost State and Local Governments $3B a Year The Bond Buyer September 18, 2012 How Much Would the Obama Budget Reduce the Deficit? Huffington Post September 14, 2012