This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health reform, the economy, and immigration reform.
On the federal budget and taxes, Chad Stone highlighted his US News & World Report column on better ways to approach the debt ceiling. Zoë Neuberger pointed out that the proposed House appropriations bill for agriculture programs underfunds the WIC program, which provides nutritional support for low-income pregnant women, infants, and young children. Chuck Marr reiterated the challenges that House Republicans will face in financing their proposed huge tax cut by scaling back tax credits, deductions, and other preferences. Chye-Ching Huang highlighted the congressional testimony of Ed Kleinbard, former chief of staff of the Joint Tax Committee, on problems posed by so-called foreign “tax havens.”
On state budgets and taxes, we excerpted a statement by Nicholas Johnson warning that the new tax plan from North Carolina’s Senate leaders would gut funding for schools and other crucial investments. Elizabeth McNichol recommended that states proceed cautiously as they consider what to do with higher-than-expected state revenues this year, and she noted that the Texas state model for growth is not all that it seems.
On health reform, Dave Chandra highlighted some good news for health insurance consumers in the District of Columbia. Jesse Cross-Call explained that health reform’s Medicaid expansion will boost rural health coverage and economies.
On the economy, Robert Greenstein commended President Obama’s nomination of Jason Furman as the next Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
On immigration reform, Robert Greenstein discussed the difficulty of implementing a proposal to require immigrants to prove that they have paid all of their taxes since entering the country.