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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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March 16, 2013 at 12:43 AM
BY
CBPP

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget, Social Security, state budgets and taxes, health care, and deficits and debt.

  • On the Ryan budget, we excerpted Robert Greenstein’s statement on Chairman Ryan’s extreme budget.  We also pointed to Greenstein’s commentary comparing how the Ryan budget and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray’s budget approach deficit reduction.  Chad Stone described how the Ryan budget would slow the economic recovery.  Joel Friedman noted that the Ryan budget would cut non-defense discretionary spending far more than the across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration.”  Richard Kogan described how two-thirds of the cuts in Ryan’s plan would come from programs that serve people of limited means, and Dottie Rosenbaum explained that the Ryan budget would slash funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps).  Edwin Park described how Ryan’s changes to Medicaid would add tens of millions of Americans to the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured.  Paul Van de Water listed three important ways that the Ryan budget would alter Medicare.
  • On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing explained why Congress’ failure to fund efforts to weed out improper benefit payments in Social Security disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income is shortsighted.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Elizabeth McNichol noted that pension plans for state and local workers have made important progress toward restored financial health without breaking state budgets.
  • On health care, Edwin Park debunked the myth that the Medicare drug benefit’s lower-than-expected spending reflects efficiencies produced by competition among private insurers, and he discussed the Congressional Budget Office’s reduction of projected Medicaid spending by more than $200 billion.
  • On deficits and debt, Arloc Sherman explained how deficit reduction that targets programs that provide support for low-income families would negatively affect individuals and the economy for decades.  We also highlighted our backgrounder on deficits, debt, and interest — three important budget concepts that are often misunderstood.

In other news, we issued Robert Greenstein’s statement on the extreme nature of Chairman Ryan’s budget and his commentary comparing Ryan’s budget to the budget that Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray released this week.  We issued papers on how Chairman Ryan’s budget adversely affects programs that benefit those with low and moderate incomes, SNAP, and Medicare.  We also updated reports on how states can strengthen fiscal policies, state taxes on inherited wealth, the medical device excise tax, and SNAP’s efficacy and efficiency.  Finally, we updated our backgrounders on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state and the SNAP program, and our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession.

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently.  Here are two highlights:

No “charm offensive” could ever win over Paul Ryan and his disciples
Washington Post, The Plum Line

March 13, 2013

Lowering income taxes to lure or keep business in Missouri won't work
The Springfield News-Leader, Editorial

March 13, 2013