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off the charts

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This week on Off the Charts, we focused on state budgets and taxes, the federal budget and taxes, the safety net, health reform, and jobs.

  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mitchell mapped the large growth in state prison populations in recent decades. Nicholas Johnson presented a video highlighting the State Priorities Partnership, a network of 41 independent organizations working to improve state budget policies.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang pointed out that a reported congressional “tax extender” package included costly expansions of tax cuts.
  • On the safety net, Zoë Neuberger highlighted features of the school meal programs that make it easier for children whose families are going through especially hard times to obtain school meals. Kathy Ruffing explained why reapportioning payroll taxes between Social Security’s disability and retirement trust funds wouldn’t jeopardize retirees.
  • On health reform, Paul Van de Water listed six ways it helps middle-class Americans.
  • On jobs, Chad Stone illustrated the latest employment figures.

This week Chad Stone issued a statement on the November employment report. We released papers on how policymakers often overstate marginal tax rates for lower-income workers and why boosting the Disability Insurance share of the payroll tax would not harm retirees. We also revised our paper on how many veteran and armed-forces families receive working-family tax credits and updated our backgrounders on the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and unemployment insurance.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week – the Growth in State Prison Populations

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

The four-decade rise in state imprisonment, in one animated GIF
Washington Post
December 3, 2014

N.J. incarceration rate has more than tripled since 1978 but down from peak
December 3, 2014

Paul Ryan hypocrisy watch: Episode infinity
December 3, 2014

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