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In Case You Missed It...


This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health care, Social Security, housing, state budgets and taxes, and the safety net.

  • On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr listed four things to look for in the forthcoming tax reform plan from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp.  After Chairman Camp announced the plan, Chye-Ching Huang explained why it would likely increase deficits after the first decade and Robert Greenstein pointed out that it would hit many working-poor families hard, though Chuck Marr noted that its cap on tax expenditures marks a step forward in making the tax code fairer and more economically efficient.
  • On health care, Edwin Park explained that the Administration’s preliminary 2015 payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans include no payment reductions beyond those already in law.  He also argued that the sequestration cuts affecting Medicare Advantage are no reason to halt health reform’s separate changes to Medicare Advantage.  Matt Broaddus highlighted a new study showing that expanding health coverage provides financial protection from high out-of-pocket medical costs.
  • On Social Security, Robert Greenstein recounted what happened when President Obama first proposed adopting the “chained CPI.”
  • On housing, Douglas Rice explained that sequestration has cut the number of low-income families using housing vouchers by 70,000.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Nicholas Johnson corrected Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s claim that his income tax cuts have generated over 15,000 small businesses.
  • On the safety net, Becca Segal highlighted a White House event that emphasized the benefits of a new option that can help schools in high-poverty areas become hunger free.

In other news, we updated our brief and full backgrounders on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

We also launched a Center on Budget Instagram feed as well as a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for a project that CBPP Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein is spearheading to focus greater attention on the goal of full employment.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week:


A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently.  Here are some highlights:

Wildly Overselling Tax Reform
U.S. News & World Report
February 28, 2014

A Simpler Tax Plan, Not a Better One
New York Times
February 26, 2014

Budget Cuts Mean 70,000 Fewer Housing Vouchers For The Poor
Huffington Post
February 26, 2014

Minimum Wage Jump Good For Low-Income Blacks
The Tennessee Tribune
February 25, 2014

Schnurman: Minimum trade-off -- pay vs. jobs
Dallas Morning News
February 24, 2014

25 maps and charts that explain America today
Washington Post
February 24, 2014