off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

In Case You Missed It...

| By CBPP
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the new budgets from House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray, deficits and debt, state budgets and taxes, education, Social Security, SNAP (food stamps), and housing.
  • On the Ryan budget, we excerpted Robert Greenstein and Joel Friedman’s commentary on why balancing the budget in the next decade is not the right goal and pointed to our new paper on the nearly $6 trillion revenue hole that the Ryan budget would create.  Chye-Ching Huang also explained that the budget’s specified tax cuts are skewed toward high-income people.  Sharon Parrott described how the Ryan budget would make the safety net less effective in promoting and supporting work. Stacy Dean noted that the SNAP cuts in the Ryan budget are even deeper than we originally thought.  Finally, we compiled a roundup of our blog posts and analyses on the Ryan budget.
  • On the Murray budget, Robert Greenstein explained why charges that it double-counts spending cuts and boosts spending rather than reducing it don’t stand up under scrutiny.
  • On deficits and debt, we highlighted Robert Greenstein’s op-ed in The Hill outlining the best approach to deficit reduction.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman noted that big cuts in state income taxes aren’t a ticket to stronger economic growth.
  • On education, Phil Oliff detailed states’ sharp cuts in higher education funding in recent years and noted that public colleges and universities have hiked tuition to make up for the lost revenue.
  • On Social Security, we excerpted Kathy Ruffing’s congressional testimony on the financial status of Social Security Disability Insurance.
  • On SNAP, Dottie Rosenbaum rebutted the claim that most program spending goes to administrative costs.  And Ed Bolen listed three facts that a recent Washington Post story highlighted about SNAP’s importance for families and communities.
  • On housing, Barbara Sard explained how to rebalance federal housing policy to help more low-income families afford housing.
In other news, we issued a commentary by Robert Greenstein and Joel Friedman on why balancing the budget in the next decade is the wrong goal and a statement by Robert Greenstein on unifying the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace.  We issued papers on how Chairman Ryan’s budget understates defense spending, proposes nearly $6 trillion in new tax cuts with no plausible way to pay for them, undermines the safety net’s support of low-wage work, and slashes SNAP funding,  Other papers we released this week compared the deficit-reduction figures in the House and Senate budgets, provided new figures on the size of the sequestration cuts, explained why big cuts in state personal income taxes are a poor strategy for economic growth, and analyzed state cuts in higher education funding.  We released the audio from our media briefing on cuts in state higher education funding and updated our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment compensation available in each state.  Lastly, we issued congressional testimonies from Paul Van de Water and Judy Feder on financing Medicare and Medicaid and from Kathy Ruffing on Social Security Disability Insurance. A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights: If You Like Simpson-Bowles, You Should Like the Senate Budget U.S. News and World Report March 22, 2013 A Truly Devastating Graph on State Higher Education Spending The Atlantic March 20, 2013 Higher Education Cuts Risk Damaging State Economies For Years To Come: CBPP Report Huffington Post March 20, 2013 Paul Ryan's Budget Won't Balance the Budget in Ten Years Mother Jones March 20, 2013 State funding cuts slam public colleges CBS News, MoneyWatch March 19, 2013 Shutdown, budget bills on floor this week Politico March 17, 2013