This week on Off the Charts, we focused on health reform, the federal budget and taxes, the safety net, Social Security, state budgets and taxes, and SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps).
On health reform, Edwin Park explained why policymakers should not delay the requirement that individuals have health coverage or face a penalty, and Sarah Lueck noted that the expected drop in New York health insurance premiums highlights the importance of this individual mandate. Robert Greenstein corrected those who misuse an October 2009 CBPP paper to criticize health reform’s employer mandate.
On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr explained why policymakers should expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers. He also noted that a House bill to cut Internal Revenue Service enforcement funding would cost far more than it saves.
On the safety net, Arloc Sherman discussed the impressive record of key anti-poverty programs in advance of the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty.
On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing highlighted a new Urban Institute report showing that Disability Insurance beneficiaries tend to have limited education, modest income, and few assets. She also noted that U.S. seniors are more likely to work than their peers in almost every other developed country.
On state budgets and taxes, Nicholas Johnson explained why North Carolina’s radical new tax bill has ominous national implications.
On SNAP, we revisited a video that highlights SNAP’s role as this nation’s first line of defense against hunger.