This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the economy, the federal budget and taxes, health care, and state budgets and taxes.
On the economy, Chad Stone examined the September jobs report, which gave mixed signals about the overall job market but left no doubt that long-term unemployment remains a significant problem. We also described the importance of maintaining a federal emergency unemployment insurance program while unemployment remains high.
On the federal budget and taxes, Paul Van de Water addressed the controversy over the amount of deficit reduction in President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget. Richard Kogan listed five basic facts about the budget plan from presidential deficit commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, and we highlighted our new report on the proposal. Chuck Marr explained why we should let President Bush’s high-income tax cuts expire while seriously considering extending the payroll tax cut.
On health care, Paul Van de Water showed why the Supreme Court’s health reform ruling further weakens the case for raising the Medicare eligibility age. Sarah Lueck noted that a little-known provision of health reform requires insurance companies to provide standardized, easy-to-follow summaries of their health plans. And we pointed to a PBS NewsHour segment on what’s at stake in emerging debates about the future of Medicaid.
On state budgets and taxes, Phil Oliff explained that Florida’s proposed Amendment 4 would send millions of dollars in property tax breaks out of state, leaving less funding for local services.