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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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CBPP

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health policy, state budgets and taxes, and Social Security.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, we highlighted Robert Greenstein’s commentary on the Medicare savings in President Obama’s budget proposal.  Sharon Parrott noted that while Congress addressed the flight delays that sequestration caused, many other sequestration-related cuts that receive much less attention are far more damaging.
  • On health policy, January Angeles refuted Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s claims that expanding Medicaid would force people out of private health insurance.  Sarah Lueck explained why the 2014 health insurance rates proposed by Maryland’s largest health insurer, CareFirst, are not evidence of “rate shock.”
  • On state budgets and taxes, Liz McNichol responded to Bloomberg News columnist Josh Barro’s thoughtful commentary on ways to address income tax volatility and noted that swapping state income taxes for bigger sales taxes would make state tax systems even less fair.  Michael Mazerov discussed the Senate’s encouraging first steps toward passing the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would make sales tax rules fairer by enabling states to require all large Internet retailers to charge any applicable sales taxes.
  • On Social Security, Paul Van de Water explained how the adoption of the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) would affect Social Security benefits.
In other news, we released a commentary by Robert Greenstein that examines the Medicare savings in President Obama’s budget proposal and a paper on how the chained CPI proposal will affect Social Security benefits.  We revised a paper on the impact of the President’s proposal to limit high-income tax breaks on charitable giving.  We also updated our backgrounders on state supermajority rules to raise revenues and the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state. A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently.  Here are some highlights: Budget Cuts, Minus the Inconvenience New York Times, Editorial April 24, 2013 Sequester Cuts Impact Housing Assistance for Most Vulnerable ABC News April 23, 2013 Everything you need to know about the Senate’s online sales-tax bill Washington Post, Wonkblog April 22, 2013 Tax reform is the worst The Wichita Eagle April 17, 2013