off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

In Case You Missed It…

| By CBPP
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget, federal taxes, health care, the safety net, and state budgets and taxes.
  • On the federal budget, Paul Van de Water introduced our new long-term budget projections, arguing that policymakers should enact both immediate measures to strengthen the job market and measures to reduce longer-term deficits.  Robert Greenstein detailed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s attempt to mask his budget’s big cuts in programs for Americans of limited means.  And we provided background on non-defense discretionary spending.
  • On federal taxes, we excerpted our new report on problems with the House approach to temporary corporate “tax extenders,” and Chuck Marr explained why a technical change to the first extenders bill doesn’t fix the real flaws in the House approach.  Chye-Ching Huang noted that poor decisions on tax extenders could come back to haunt us in future tax reform packages.  Chad Stone lamented the House’s double standard in making corporate tax breaks permanent without paying for them while refusing to renew federal jobless benefits unless they’re paid for.
  • On health care, Paul Van de Water explained how the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries — threatens to make drugs less affordable for consumers and taxpayers.
  • On the safety net, Barbara Sard listed five major problems with the House bill to fund housing assistance.  Ahead of Mother’s Day, Douglas Rice pointed out that roughly 1 million mothers use housing vouchers to help them keep a roof over their kids’ heads.  Zoë Neuberger highlighted a Washington Post column decrying a lobbying campaign to add white potatoes to the limited list of foods that the WIC program provides.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mitchell outlined how cuts to higher education, combined with tuition hikes, make it harder for low-income students to attain a post-secondary education.  Michael Mazerov explained that interstate tax differences have little to no effect on whether and where people move and noted that climate tops taxes as a reason that people move from state to state.
In other news, we issued papers on our updated long-term budget outlook, the negligible impact of state taxes on interstate moves, and ill-advised House efforts to make tax extenders permanent.  We also updated our review of state government SNAP websites, our paper on online services for key low-income programs, and our chart book of our top 11 tax charts. CBPP’s Chart of the Week:
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A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently.  Here are some highlights: House Republicans Propose Controversial Tax Vote Fiscal Times May 8, 2014 People don’t vote with their feet when it comes to taxes, report finds Washington Post May 8, 2014 Map: Where the average student loan burden is largest Washington Post May 8, 2014 Cutting taxes without paying for it: Our view USA Today May 7, 2014 We've Made Huge Progress on the Long-Term Debt New Republic May 6, 2014 Unemployment Down in PA, but Few in U.S. Labor Force Philadelphia Tribune May 5, 2014