This week on Off the Charts, we discussed the recession, federal budget and tax issues, state tax issues, and a proposal that would impede implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
On the recession, Chad Stone highlighted the jobs deficit that remains despite the official end of the recession. Arloc Sherman pointed out that the number of people living in deep poverty has risen 22 percent since the recession began. Donna Pavetti continued her countdown until the end of the now-expired TANF Emergency Fund, featuring what the fund accomplished, the support that existed to extend the fund, and next steps.
On federal budget and tax issues, we summed up the issues that Congress debated in recent weeks and is likely to revisit during November’s lame-duck session. Chuck Marr explained that growing income inequality is another reason not to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, with the majority of income gains in the last expansion going to the top 1 percent of households (updated charts here). Jim Horney answered questions about what the new fiscal year means for federal programs and discussed a proposal at the President’s Fiscal Commission to move from an annual to a biennial federal budget.
On state tax issues, Nick Johnson noted that while revenue losses for this recession exceed those of other recent recessions, states would have been in even worse shape if many of them had not raised revenues. And Jon Shure noted that a major business group in Massachusetts is opposing a cut in the sales tax because it would hurt the state’s business climate.
On threats to health reform, Edwin Park discussed the implications of Senator Mike Enzi’s proposal to overturn federal regulations that help implement the Affordable Care Act.