This week on Off the Charts, we focused on state budgets and taxes, Social Security, health reform, safety net programs, and the federal budget and taxes.
- On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman explained that the House-passed budget from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would shift huge costs to the states. Nick Johnson rebutted a claim in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that cutting state income taxes spurs economic growth. Michael Mazerov pointed out that the Senate-passed budget resolution signals support for requiring large Internet merchants to collect sales taxes; he also noted that the New York Supreme Court this week upheld a 2008 state law designed to achieve the same goal.
- On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing responded to a recent National Public Radio series on disability insurance by highlighting key facts about the program, showing why certain geographic areas have high disability rates, and discussing the critical support that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) gives to disabled children and their families.
- On health reform, Sarah Lueck discussed a new Urban Institute analysis refuting the claim that health reform will make individual health insurance much costlier for young adults.
- On safety net programs, Liz Schott noted that the purchasing power of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits continued to fall in 2012. Stacy Dean explained why state eligibility changes are not a major factor in the growth of SNAP (formerly food stamps).
- On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang highlighted a Washington Post analysis of how the tax code encourages multinational corporations to shift investments and profits to foreign tax havens. We also excerpted Chye-Ching Huang and Chuck Marr’s op-ed in The Guardian on the right approach to corporate tax reform.
In other news, we issued papers on how Chairman Ryan’s budget would shift substantial costs to states and drastically cut Medicaid funding by turning it into a block grant. We also issued a paper on the continued erosion of TANF benefits. Lastly, we updated our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession and our backgrounder and chart book on SNAP.