This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the economy, the “fiscal cliff” deal, and the deficit and debt.
- On the economy, Chad Stone noted that the December jobs report shows that while the economy added private sector jobs for the 34th straight month, a robust recovery remains elusive.
- On the “fiscal cliff” deal, Robert Greenstein described how the budget deal gives a new tax cut to the wealthy, and pretends it’s a tax increase. Greenstein also discussed the deal’s disparate treatment of a lavish estate tax break for the wealthy as compared to several tax credit improvements for low-income working families. Stacy Dean explained how Congress’ choice to reduce funding for a nutrition education program for people of limited means as part of the budget deal was misguided. Finally, we showed that the budget deal makes permanent 82% of President Bush’s tax cuts.
- On the deficit and debt going forward, Paul Van de Water described why playing politics with the debt ceiling is dangerous and inappropriate, and Robert Greenstein explained that the next step in deficit reduction must include a balanced mix of revenues and spending cuts.
In other news, we issued Chad Stone’s statement on the December jobs report. We released papers on how pending automatic cuts in both defense and non-defense programs would work and how the budget deal makes permanent 82% of the Bush tax cuts. We also updated our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state and our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession.