This week on Off the Charts, we focused on state budgets and taxes, health care, the federal budget and taxes, and the safety net.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman excerpted his recent debate with the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore on Kansas’ radical tax cuts. Michael Mitchell explained why states should spend less on maintaining extremely high prison populations and more on schools. He also analyzed the causes and costs of high incarceration rates and listed four ways that states can reduce incarceration rates.
On health care, Jesse Cross-Call showed that states that have expanded Medicaid as part of health care reform expect their share of Medicaid spending to grow more slowly this year than other states.
On the federal budget and taxes, David Reich explained why the Social Security Administration’s backlog of continuing disability reviews is rooted in program underfunding, not government incompetence.
On the safety net, Ife Floyd highlighted the continuing decline in the purchasing power of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) cash benefits for the nation’s poorest families.