This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, housing policy, health care, and Social Security.
On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang debunked the claim that allowing the top income tax rates to return to Clinton-era levels would discourage high-income taxpayers as a group from working. She also pointed to a New York Times op-ed by long-time financier and former Obama Administration official Steven Rattner that calls for raising capital gains and dividend tax rates. Chuck Marr explained why policymakers should extend the payroll tax cut for one year. Paul Van de Water listed the conditions under which switching to a new inflation measure for various benefit programs and parts of the tax code might make sense. We also explained why tax expenditure reform should complement — not replace — letting the high-income Bush tax cuts expire.
On housing policy, Douglas Rice explained why a budget deal that lacks significant revenues could be worse for low-income housing recipients than no deal at all. He also listed four steps to preserve needed low-income housing assistance in tough budgetary times.
On health care, January Angeles discussed why New Jersey would benefit from adopting health reform’s Medicaid expansion for low-income adults.
On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing showed how demographic and economic factors help determine what share of a state’s working-age population receives disability payments.