This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the economy, the federal budget and taxes, health care, the safety net, and state budgets and taxes.
- On the economy, Chad Stone noted that the May jobs report shows that while employers continued to add jobs, total employment remains well below its level at the start of the Great Recession.
- On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang showed how Starbucks UK’s tax avoidance highlights the flaws of territorial taxation. Joel Friedman explained that a new House Appropriations Committee plan shifts funding from non-defense programs to defense. Kathy Ruffing noted that short-changing Social Security Administration funding to weed out improper benefit payments will lead to future costs.
- On health care, Stacy Dean pointed to her commentary for the Urban Institute on how health reform gives states an opportunity to streamline the delivery of supports to low-income working families. Paul Van de Water outlined the Medicare trustees’ findings regarding the program’s financial situation.
- On the safety net, Zoë Neuberger explained that the House agriculture appropriations bill could deny WIC nutrition benefits and services to thousands of eligible low-income women and children. She also argued that science, not politics, should determine which foods WIC provides.
- On state budgets and taxes, Nicholas Johnson described how Kansas’ new budget would benefit a wealthy few at the expense of ordinary residents. We highlighted Michael Mazerov’s op-ed explaining that cutting corporate taxes in New Mexico while its schools suffer won’t bring prosperity.
In other news, we issued Chad Stone’s statement on the May jobs report, our analysis of the House Appropriations Committee plan to divide up discretionary funding for 2014, and audio of our media briefing on the Medicare and Social Security trustees’ reports. We also updated our report on Medicare’s finances and our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state.