This week on Off the Charts, we examined the economy, why President Bush’s tax cuts for high-income households should expire on schedule, the importance of extending the TANF Emergency Fund to create and preserve jobs, key elements of the health reform law, and one step to avoid in addressing long-term federal deficits and debt.
On the economy, Chad Stone showed the difference that the TARP financial stabilization bill and the 2009 Recovery Act made in producing a turnaround.
On the Bush tax cuts, the Center hosted Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, who made the case for letting the tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 expire this year. Chuck Marr outlined better short- and long-term uses for the funds.
On the TANF Emergency Fund, Donna Pavetti highlighted a front-page New York Times story detailing how the fund has helped many businesses as well as jobless workers weather the recession, and she pointed out that time is running out to extend it.
On the health reform law, Shannon Spillane discussed the newest pieces in our “Moving Forward with Health Reform” series, clearing up misconceptions about the law. January Angeles explained how the law strengthens Medicare and, in our latest Q & A, Sarah Lueck discussed how it improves access to preventive care services.
On long-term deficits and debt, Paul Van de Water argued that a backward-looking federal spending target isn’t the right answer to the problem.
In other news, the Center released health reform reports on how the law expands Medicaid coverage for people with disabilities, strengthens Medicare while protecting beneficiaries, and strikes a balance for consumers regarding “grandfathered” plans, as well as a report explaining why reducing its tax credits would jeopardize market reforms and cost controls. We released Recovery Act-related reports explaining why the July 30 data release will capture only a portion of the jobs created or saved by the Recovery Act and why Congress should extend the job-creating TANF Emergency Fund, which is set to expire. We released federal deficit-related reports on why the federal spending target of 21 percent of GDP is not an appropriate benchmark for deficit-reduction efforts and why letting President Bush’s high income tax cuts expire is a proper response to both the nation’s short-term economic challenges and long-term fiscal challenges.