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October 31, 2014 at 10:55 PM
BY
CBPP

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.


This week, we released papers on state criminal justice reforms and investments in education, the threat to TANF research funding, and states’ TANF cash benefit levels.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week – From Our Report on State Criminal Justice Reforms

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A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

States Are Prioritizing Prisons Over Education, Budgets Show
Huffington Post
October 30, 2014

Study argues Alabama's incarceration rate — up 349 percent — crowding out other priorities
AL.com
October 28, 2014

States Slashing Education Spending
24/7 Wall Street
October 27, 2014

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