This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, unemployment insurance, housing, health care, and state budgets and taxes.
On the federal budget and taxes, we excerpted Robert Greenstein's statement on the budget agreement between Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan and we pointed to our full analysis of the agreement explaining that although the agreement is modest, it represents an improvement over current law and Congress should approve it. We highlighted our new report showing that paying for targeted tax breaks known as tax "extenders" would help restrain the debt. Chuck Marr showed that most retirement tax savings go to those at the top of the income scale while most of the need is at the bottom.
On unemployment insurance, William Chen pointed to our clickable map showing the impact of letting federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) expire. Chad Stone explained that letting EUC expire would affect 4.9 million jobless workers in 2014 and noted that failure to continue jobless benefits would undo the expected economic boost from this week's budget agreement. Stone also warned that November's drop in the unemployment rate should not signal that policymakers can now justifiably let EUC expire.
On housing, Barbara Sard explained that sequestration cuts could eliminate housing vouchers for as many as 185,000 low-income families by the end of next year.
On health care, Edwin Park argued that the President and Congress should extend four important Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provisions that are set to expire.
On state budgets and taxes, Nicholas Johnson explained that while Florida's boost to K-12 education is welcome, per-student spending remains below its 2007-08 level.