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.