This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health care, housing, and safety net programs.
- On the federal budget and taxes, Richard Kogan explained that $1.5 trillion in deficit savings would stabilize the debt over the coming decade and laid out what will happen if automatic “sequestration” cuts take effect beginning March 1 as scheduled. Chad Stone said that pursuing too much deficit reduction too fast would lead to a drag on the economic recovery. Chye-Ching Huang noted that a territorial tax system could significantly worsen the problem of tax avoidance by multinational corporations.
- On state budgets and taxes, Nick Johnson listed four serious challenges that threaten states’ ability to pay for essential public services. Erica Williams warned against sweeping tax and budget proposals being considered in some states that could burden low- and middle-income residents. Michael Leachman explained why North Carolina’s proposed cut in jobless benefits would harm both unemployed workers and the state’s economy.
- On health care, Paul Van de Water illustrated how raising the Medicare eligibility age would raise costs, not reduce them; and he described why concerns over the Medicare funding “trigger” are misguided.
- On housing, Douglas Rice explained how sequestration would hurt housing programs.
- On safety net programs, we highlighted Robert Greenstein’s Senate testimony in which he said that deficit reduction should avoid changes that weaken the safety net. Dottie Rosenbaum explained that SNAP’s recent growth shows the program is responding, as designed, to economic hardship and that spending on the program will fall as the economy improves.
In other news, we issued Robert Greenstein’s Senate testimony on the impact of federal budget decisions on families and communities. We also issued papers on why $1.5 trillion in deficit savings would stabilize the debt over the coming decade, state budget and tax proposals that would slash public services and jeopardize economic growth, and four big threats to state finances.
Finally, we updated our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state, our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession, our guide to state policy decisions in health exchange implementation, and our paper on estimated cuts in housing and community development programs due to sequestration.
A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:
Is the deficit losing its urgency?
February 13, 2013
This Week in Poverty: Revealing the Real TANF
February 8, 2013
Editorial: Iowa should expand Medicaid program
Globe Gazette (IA)
February 7, 2013
Room For Debate: More Stimulus and Fewer Tax Cuts Are Needed
New York Times
February 6, 2013
Invitation to a Dialogue: Fighting Poverty
New York Times
February 5, 2013