off the charts
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
In Case You Missed It...
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on SNAP (formerly food stamps); new Census Bureau data on poverty, incomes, and health coverage; the federal budget and taxes; and state budgets and taxes.
- On SNAP, we continued our series setting the record straight on the program. Dottie Rosenbaum examined the House bill to cut SNAP and noted that the several million people it affects could include 170,000 veterans. Robert Greenstein explained that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has misrepresented the House proposal’s severe cuts to SNAP as “work requirements,” and Stacy Dean responded to Rep. Cantor’s misleading defense of the bill. Greenstein also critiqued a recent article that contained serious errors about the SNAP cuts. In addition, we excerpted Dean’s recent interview on SNAP and the House bill.
- On the Census Bureau data, Arloc Sherman previewed the poverty figures and Matt Broaddus previewed the health coverage figures. When Census released the data, we highlighted Robert Greenstein’s statement on the findings. Sharon Parrott pointed out that the new data show that SNAP lifted a record number of people out of poverty in 2012. Danilo Trisi explained that the Census data show income inequality at record levels, and Kathy Ruffing added that one key measure of inequality (the “Gini Index”) provides further evidence of rising inequality. Matt Broaddus noted that the Census figures show continued progress in insuring more Americans, notably children. He also pointed to health reform’s impact on the Census figures and summarized other Census data released this week suggesting that health reform is boosting young adults’ coverage.
- On the federal budget and taxes, Robert Greenstein warned that the upcoming fight over the debt limit is frighteningly different from other recent political battles. Paul Van de Water reiterated that a proposal to pay bondholders and Social Security recipients first if there’s a prolonged standoff over raising the debt ceiling is simply default by another name. He also examined a new Congressional Budget Office report showing that the long-term budget outlook remains challenging but has become significantly more manageable. Joel Friedman explained that a House proposal would cut non-defense spending well below sequestration levels.
- On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mazerov highlighted more evidence that state tax breaks won’t save jobs.
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