This week on Off the Charts, we focused on SNAP (formerly food stamps), health reform, housing policy, the federal budget and taxes, and state budgets and taxes.
On SNAP, Stacy Dean explained that the farm bill that the House Agriculture Committee approved this week would force nearly 2 million low-income people off the program. Dottie Rosenbaum noted, in the last in our “Facts on SNAP” series, that SNAP responded as designed to the recession and will shrink as the economy improves. And Chad Stone pointed out that SNAP enrollment remains high because the jobs market remains abnormally weak.
On health reform, Shannon Spillane listed some of its accomplishments to date. Judy Solomon explained why the coming cuts to hospitals that serve many low-income and uninsured patients reinforce the importance of health reform’s Medicaid expansion.
On housing policy, Will Fischer pointed out that a new tax credit to help low-income renters afford housing would be a valuable complement to the existing Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang rebutted recent criticisms of estimates of how tax proposals would affect different income groups.
On state budgets and taxes, Erica Williams emphasized that North Carolina should reinstate its Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).