This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the economy, the federal budget and taxes, health policy, housing, and Social Security.
On the economy, Chad Stone explained that the March jobs report shows that a robust jobs recovery remains elusive. Michael Leachman noted one relative bright spot in the report: job losses among state and local workers may be leveling off. We also excerpted Jared Bernstein’s appearance on PBS’s “Need to Know,” where he stressed the importance of investing in public goods like education.
On the federal budget and taxes, we pointed out that the Tax Foundation’s annual “Tax Freedom Day” report gives a misleading impression of the typical household’s taxes. Richard Kogan listed four reasons why policymakers should not adopt biennial budgeting.
On health policy, Edwin Park explained that a recent federal government announcement regarding private Medicare Advantage plans did not reverse a proposed payment cut to the plans. January Angeles showed that Medicaid beneficiaries have very good access to quality health care — but that the House-passed Ryan budget would seriously weaken the program.
On housing, Douglas Rice detailed the cuts in housing assistance that will likely result from the “sequestration” budget cuts. Will Fischer called for reforming the mortgage interest deduction.
On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing noted that beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance have much higher death rates than other people their age.