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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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CBPP

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, the economy, health care, and the safety net.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, we released a brief video explaining what the federal government does with the taxes that it collects.  Chuck Marr noted that more key policymakers understand the danger of locking in a much lower top tax rate as the first step in tax reform.  And Jim Horney pointed to Martin Sullivan’s praise for our recent analysis of the Bowles-Simpson deficit-reduction plan.
  • On the economy, Chad Stone provided some perspective on the latest government figures on economic growth.  Chye-Ching Huang explained why the current state of the economy argues for an extension of the payroll tax cut.
  • On health care, Judy Solomon explained why the examples of Arizona and Rhode Island tell us nothing about the likely impact of converting Medicaid to a block grant.  Jesse Cross-Call showed why states can continue improving children’s coverage by implementing health reform’s Medicaid expansion.
  • On the safety net, Richard Kogan debunked the myth that low-income programs are a major cause of the nation’s long-term budget problems.  Chuck Marr highlighted recent studies showing that the Earned Income Tax Credit helps children do better in school and earn more as adults.  Dottie Rosenbaum highlighted the late Senator George McGovern’s role in creating today’s SNAP (food stamp) program.
In other news, we updated our guide to statistics on historical trends in income inequality and released a video explaining where our federal tax dollars go.  Finally, we updated our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment insurance benefits available in each state. A variety of news outlets featured the Center’s work and experts recently.  Here are some highlights: Schools Face Test From Voters Wall Street Journal October 23, 2012 Sheltering America's Children Huffington Post October 19, 2012 Pols Be Warned: Closing Tax Loopholes Will Be Tough U.S. News and World Report October 18, 2012 Fiscal Cliff May Be Felt Gradually, Analysts Say The New York Times October 9, 2012 What You Need to Know About the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Plan U.S. News and World Report October 5, 2012