This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, safety net programs, health care, state budgets and taxes, and the economy.
On the federal budget and taxes, we highlighted Robert Greenstein’sForeign Affairs article explaining why efforts to address the “fiscal cliff” should protect the economic recovery in the short term and promote growth, opportunity, and shared prosperity in the long term. Chuck Marr suggested an alternative to extending the soon-to-expire payroll tax cut: restoring and expanding the “Making Work Pay” tax credit. Sharon Parrott noted that last week’s deficit-reduction proposal from House Speaker John Boehner would likely cut non-defense discretionary programs by nearly as much as the automatic cuts scheduled to start in January. Finally, we pointed to our post on why the claim that letting President Bush’s tax cuts on incomes over $250,000 expire would cost about 700,000 jobs is highly implausible.
On safety net programs, Ed Bolen cited new research on SNAP’s powerful anti-hunger impact. We also highlighted our new paper designed to clear up some misunderstandings on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for poor children with disabilities.
On health care, Robert Greenstein corrected misinformed attacks on Medicaid provider taxes. Judy Solomon explained why budget negotiators shouldn’t cancel a scheduled Medicaid payment increase for primary care providers. Paul Van de Water pointed out that cuts enacted over the past two years will save about $90 billion from health care entitlement programs over the next decade. He also explained why health reform’s tax on medical devices should take effect as scheduled.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mazerov argued that Nike’s demand for tax breaks in Oregon could encourage other corporations to seek costly tax concessions. Michael Leachman described the damaging consequences of Kansas’ massive income tax cut.
On the economy, Chad Stone highlighted his latest U.S. News piece on why default, not the “fiscal cliff,” poses the real danger to the economy.