This week on Off the Charts, we focused on food assistance, the federal budget and taxes, unemployment insurance, state budgets and taxes, and health reform.
On food assistance¸ Dottie Rosenbaum previewed the upcoming figures on how accurately states delivered SNAP (food stamp) benefits last year. Zoë Neuberger explained that schools adopting “community eligibility” to deliver meals to all students at no charge can still receive other assistance. Becca Segal pointed out that alternative sources of poverty data are available for schools that eliminate meal applications as part of community eligibility.
On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr explained that cuts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget have weakened enforcement and compromised taxpayer service. He also showed that a Child Tax Credit expansion passed by the House Ways and Means Committee this week prioritizes affluent families over the working poor. And he rebutted the claim that indexing the maximum credit to inflation would help all families, including those with low incomes.
On unemployment insurance, Chad Stone highlighted the nearly 300,000 veterans who have lost access to federal jobless benefits so far due to Congress’ failure to restart Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
On state budgets and taxes, Erica Williams listed some “do’s and don’ts” for states seeking stronger economies.
On health reform, Judy Solomon explained that states can reduce recidivism by expanding Medicaid.