This week on Off the Charts, we focused on state budgets and taxes, federal taxes, health reform, and food assistance.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman pointed to a new report showing that lower-income families pay a bigger share of their income in state and local taxes than wealthy families. He also listed five pieces of context for analyzing Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s new budget. Erica Williams noted that Kansas isn’t the only state facing budget woes caused partly by large tax cuts.
On federal taxes, Chuck Marr described why policymakers should make strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit a top priority in 2015. Brandon DeBot explained how these working-family tax credits help families at virtually every stage of life. He also pointed out that cuts in IRS funding will harm customer service and raise deficits.
On health reform, Judy Solomon highlighted new studies showing that millions more Americans will be uninsured and premiums will jump if the Supreme Court disallows health reform subsidies for people getting coverage through the federal marketplace. Paul Van de Water reiterated that arguments for repealing health reform’s medical device tax are as weak as ever.
On food assistance, Ed Bolen summarized basic facts about the 1 million unemployed childless adults who will lose SNAP (food stamp) benefits in 2016.