This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the “sequestration” budget cuts, other federal budget and tax issues, the minimum wage, safety net programs, health care, and housing.
- On sequestration, Sharon Parrott outlined some examples of the real impact that it will have across the country. We highlighted Joel Friedman and Sharon Parrott’s commentary on why the Inhofe-Toomey proposal to replace sequestration failed to address sequestration’s most serious problems. We pointed to our new analysis on the two separate sequestrations to begin in March.
- On other federal budget and tax issues, Kathy Ruffing illustrated what’s driving our deficits and debt based on the latest update of our periodic analysis. Chuck Marr laid out a two-pronged approach to tax expenditure reform and we posted a video in which Chye-Ching Huang explained why tax expenditure reform should be part of the next stage of deficit reduction.
- On the minimum wage, Chad Stone explained why raising it is good economic policy.
- On safety net programs, LaDonna Pavetti listed five ways that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work requirements could better promote work. Zoë Neuberger explained that sequestration would deny WIC nutrition support to 600,000 to 775,000 at-risk low-income women and children. We described why a recent comparison of safety net benefits with middle-class incomes is deeply flawed.
- On health care, Jesse Cross-Call noted that more than half of the states have approved health reform’s Medicaid expansion or made significant progress toward doing so. Edwin Park corrected misguided claims that the Administration is proposing new cuts in payments to Medicare Advantage plans.
- On housing, Will Fischer showed that there’s more need than ever for housing assistance for low-income renters.
In other news, we updated our analysis of what is driving deficits and debts. We issued Robert Greenstein’s Senate testimony on putting the budget on a sustainable course and a commentary on the Inhofe-Toomey sequestration proposal. We issued papers on sequestration’s harmful impact on WIC recipients, the two March sequestrations, tax expenditure reform to help reduce deficits, changes in TANF work requirements to promote employment, TANF’s response to the economic downturn, and a recent comparison of safety net benefits to middle-class incomes. We also updated our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession.