This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health care, and housing.
- On the federal budget and taxes, Robert Greenstein discussed why both a more adequate minimum wage and strong refundable tax credits are necessary to “make work pay.” We highlighted Robert Greenstein and Joel Friedman’s commentary on the new deficit-reduction proposal by fiscal commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Chye-Ching Huang showed that both the White House and congressional Republicans have offered greater revenue increases in past deficit-reduction proposals than the “fiscal cliff” deal included.
- On state budgets and taxes, Erica Williams explained that North Carolina’s proposal to eliminate the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit would harm hundreds of thousands of working families. Michael Mazerov described how cuts to state personal income taxes weaken revenues and are a poor way to stimulate job creation among small businesses.
- On health care, Paul Van de Water noted that projected Medicare spending over 2011-2020 has fallen by more than $500 billion since late 2010. Dave Chandra explained that as a result of health reform, residents in all states will see major improvements to the way insurance is designed and sold, regardless of whether their state will run its own health insurance exchange.
- On housing, Barbara Sard outlined a new guide to help eligible families use Housing Choice Vouchers to move to high-opportunity neighborhoods.
In other news, we issued a commentary on the new deficit-reduction plan that Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles issued this week and a paper on why cutting personal income taxes won’t help small businesses create jobs and may harm state economies. We also updated our backgrounders on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state and Taxpayer Bill of Rights measures, and our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession.
Looking ahead to next week, Paul Van de Water will answer questions about the sequester and its effects on the online discussion forum Reddit next Wednesday, February 27, from 1-2 p.m.