off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

In Case You Missed It...

| By CBPP
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on SNAP (formerly food stamps), the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health reform, income inequality, the safety net, and Social Security.
  • On SNAP, we began a series setting the record straight on the program, which faces proposals for big cuts in the House.  Stacy Dean reviewed the basics about SNAP and the impact of the proposed cuts, and she rebutted claims about unemployed childless adults receiving SNAP.  Dottie Rosenbaum refuted arguments that SNAP is rife with fraud and abuse and noted that SNAP participation will shrink as the economy improves.  Chad Stone explained that a weak job market is keeping SNAP enrollment high.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, we highlighted Robert Greenstein’s address at a National Journal event where he discussed key principles for a responsible deficit-reduction deal.  Sharon Parrott laid out tests to evaluate proposals for avoiding a government shutdown and a default on the nation’s financial obligations.  Richard Kogan explained that House Speaker John Boehner is off base in suggesting that policymakers have routinely linked an increase in the debt limit to a budget deal.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman explained that K-12 school funding remains below pre-recession levels in most states.  Nicholas Johnson noted that Missouri lawmakers have wisely rejected a plan to slash income taxes, raise sales taxes, and cut funding for education and other services.
  • On health reform, Edwin Park explained why lawmakers should reject efforts to delay major pieces of health reform.  He also pointed to a new Congressional Budget Office analysis that delaying health reform’s individual mandate would mean more uninsured Americans and higher premiums.
  • On income inequality, Chad Stone discussed a new analysis showing that the incomes of the richest U.S. households rose sharply in 2012.
  • On the safety net, LaDonna Pavetti highlighted new evidence that state-run subsidized jobs programs during the recession accomplished their main goals.  Arloc Sherman pointed out that the official poverty measure masks the progress made in reducing poverty.
  • On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing explained that a recent Economist article gave a misleading impression about Disability Insurance.
In other news, we issued a paper and held a media briefing on state cuts in K-12 funding.  In addition, we issued papers on the criteria for evaluating upcoming budget proposals, why the official poverty measure masks gains over the last 50 years, the consequences of delaying health reform’s individual mandate, and the impact of cuts in the House leadership’s new SNAP proposal.  We also updated our guide to statistics on historical trends in income inequality, our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession, and our backgrounder on 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: Editorial: Education on the cheap — More proof that Alabama doesn’t fund its schools adequately The Anniston Star September 12, 2013 U.S. states still holding back on school spending Reuters September 12, 2013 More than 2 out of 3 states spend less per student now than six years ago Washington Post September 12, 2013 Mindlessly Gutting Food Stamps New York Times September 9, 2013 The big squeeze: Higher profits, lower wages: A Q&A on economic disparity The Star-Ledger September 8, 2013