This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the deficit and debt, the federal budget and taxes, health care, and safety net programs.
- On the deficit and debt, we updated our periodic analysis on what’s driving projected federal deficits and debt, continuing to find that they stem overwhelmingly from the tax cuts first enacted under President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Paul Van de Water addressed the controversy over the amount of deficit reduction in President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget.
- On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr pointed to Senator Chuck Schumer’s timely reminder that policymakers should be wary of the tax reform trap. Chad Stone highlighted a new analysis by Goldman Sachs that shows that the so-called “fiscal cliff” is really a slope.
- On health care, Donna Pavetti rebutted recent claims that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a model for converting Medicaid to a block-grant. Jesse Cross-Call showed that pointing to Rhode Island’s experience to demonstrate the benefits of block-granting Medicaid is highly misleading.
- On safety net programs, Danilo Trisi debunked the myth that single mothers don’t work.
In other news, we released a paper on how moving “dual-eligible” beneficiaries into mandatory managed care and capping federal funding would risk harming poor seniors and those with disabilities and updated our periodic analysis on what is driving large current deficits. Finally, we updated our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession and our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment insurance benefits currently available in each state.