This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, international budgeting, Social Security, unemployment insurance, state budgets and taxes, health care, housing, and income inequality.
On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr argued that policymakers should pay for any extension of several dozen tax breaks that expired at the end of last year and explained that it’s time to let one recently expired tax break, bonus depreciation, expire permanently.
On international budgeting, we noted that the Guardian picked an International Budget Partnership’s paper as one of the newspaper’s top five publications of 2013 on transparency.
On Social Security, Paul Van de Water described how Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has mischaracterized his proposal to curtail the joint receipt of Social Security disability insurance and unemployment insurance.
On unemployment insurance, Chad Stone explained where things stand for the unemployed, including the number of weeks of unemployment insurance available in each state.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman noted that North Carolina’s unprecedented decision to eliminate its state earned income tax credit will mean a tax hike for 900,000 working households.
On health care, Jesse Cross-Call listed some of the growing costs to states of not expanding Medicaid under health reform. Sarah Lueck argued that new federal data showing older-than-expected enrollees in health reform’s new health insurance marketplaces are no reason to panic.
On housing, Douglas Rice explained that although Congress’ funding bill helps low-income housing, much more must be done to reverse sequestration’s harm and begin to address the severe housing challenges that low-income families face.
On income inequality, we released three animated graphs illustrating income inequality over time. In part 1, Chad Stone showed that the economic fortunes of the wealthy and everyone else have diverged sharply in recent decades. In part 2, Stone looked at how income gains for the top 1 percent have far outpaced those for everyone else since 1979. In part 3, Stone illustrated that the top 1 percent’s share of income has grown sharply in recent decades, approaching highs last reached in the 1920s.