This week on Off the Charts, we discussed debates over taxes and spending, the announcement that the recession officially ended in June 2009, the six-month anniversary of health reform, and the Census Bureau’s new poverty figures. We also started a countdown to the expiration of the TANF Emergency Fund, which has provided a quarter-million Americans with jobs but will end September 30 unless Congress extends it.
On tax and spending debates, we noted that the new legislative agenda from some House Republicans includes Minority Leader Boehner’s recent proposal for sharp spending cuts. Edwin Park also explained why the Republicans’ proposal would mean more uninsured Americans and higher deficits. Chuck Marr explained why focusing the tax debate on the middle class will mean a better outcome for the economy.
On the recession, Arloc Sherman pointed out that it followed an “expansion” between 2001 and 2007 in which the nation actually lost ground in areas like poverty rates and median incomes. Chad Stone warned that while the recession is over, poverty and unemployment will likely remain high for some time.
On health reform, January Angeles sat down with us to discuss two of the law’s key provisions that took effect yesterday: improved access to preventive care and a coverage expansion for young adults.
On the new poverty figures, Arloc Sherman explained that food stamps and unemployment benefits kept millions of Americans out of poverty in 2009.
On the TANF Emergency Fund, we began a series of posts counting down to the program’s expiration. Donna Pavetti featured stories of communities and employers that have benefited from the fund.
In other news, the Center released a podcast on this week’s health care milestone. Find it on iTunes.