off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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CBPP

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the economy, the federal budget and taxes, the safety net, and state budgets and taxes.
  • On the economy, Chad Stone noted that the November jobs report paints a familiar picture of moderate job creation and stubbornly high unemployment.  He also explained why letting federal emergency unemployment insurance expire at the end of the month would harm workers and the economy, and he showed that we have never let an emergency unemployment insurance program expire when unemployment is as high as it is now.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, we issued a statement from Robert Greenstein on the House Republicans’ budget offer and highlighted his appearance on “CBS This Morning,” where he explained why Congress should resolve the “fiscal cliff” and raise the debt limit at the same time.  We also excerpted comments from Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and of the Congressional Budget Office, on capping itemized deductions for upper-income households.  Finally, Chye-Ching Huang explained why policymakers shouldn’t raise the threshold for expiration of President Bush’s tax cuts.
  • On the safety net, we highlighted Stacy Dean’s discussion on National Public Radio’s “Diane Rehm Show” of the importance of SNAP (food stamps) in reducing poverty and hunger.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Nicholas Johnson pointed to a New York Times series on the connection between lucrative state tax breaks for corporations and the underfunding of schools and infrastructure.  Chris Mai explained why a federal deficit-reduction package would harm states and localities if it didn’t include significant revenues.  Chye-Ching Huang showed how many workers in each state would benefit from extending the payroll tax cut for one more year.
In other news, we issued Chad Stone’s statement on the November jobs report.  We released audio from our media conference call with Peter Orszag and Robert Greenstein on tax rates, tax deductions, and the “fiscal cliff” and a fact sheet on why unbalanced deficit reduction could shift costs to states.  We updated papers on how adopting a different inflation measure for certain benefit programs and parts of the tax code could be part of a balanced deficit-reduction package, why the Budget Control Act funding caps place pressure on non-defense discretionary programs, and why a deficit-reduction package without significant revenue would shift substantial costs to states.  We also updated our backgrounders on state earned income tax credits and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. A variety of news outlets featured the Center’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights: Why We Should Renew Federal Emergency Unemployment Insurance, Parts 1 and 2 Huffington Post December 7, 2012 November jobs report: Stubborn unemployment in three charts WashingtonPost.com December 7, 2012 Bernanke Cliff Analogy Overstates Immediate Economic Harm Bloomberg Businessweek December 7, 2012 State Budgets Described As Good, Not Great, Still Facing Threats Despite Growth Huffington Post December 6, 2012 Forget January: The 'Fiscal Cliff' Will Get Scary in February US News & World Report December 6, 2012 Reminder: Obama has already agreed to big spending cuts Washington Post, The Plum Line December 6, 2012 Raise the Economy’s Speed Limit New York Times, Op-Ed December 6, 2012 The Challenge of Feeding America’s Hungry The Diane Rehm Show December 5, 2012