This week on Off the Charts, we focused on President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget, federal taxes, jobs, health reform, and the safety net.
On the President’s budget, we excerpted Robert Greenstein’s statement. David Reich described why the budget’s proposed sequestration relief makes sense over the short and long term. Chuck Marr praised the budget’s restoration of a large share of the recent IRS funding cuts. Chye-Ching Huang previewed the President’s tax proposals and analyzed his proposed transition tax on offshore profits. Robert Greenstein argued that the President’s tax proposals are more progressive than some have interpreted them to be. January Angeles pointed out that the budget’s proposal to reinstate a boost in Medicaid payments for primary care would improve access to care. Shelby Gonzales noted proposals in the budget that would help enroll more eligible children and adults in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Barbara Sard described the budget’s funding boost for Housing Choice Vouchers to help low-income families afford housing. Kathy Ruffing highlighted the budget’s proposals to preserve disability benefits while promoting thoughtful reforms.
On federal taxes, Chye-Ching Huang pointed out that the Paul-Boxer “repatriation tax holiday” would cost money so couldn’t finance highway construction.
On jobs, Chad Stone illustrated the January employment figures. Michael Leachman reported that states and localities cut 4,000 jobs in January.
On health reform, Jessica Schubel explained that Indiana’s Medicaid expansion waiver will require close watch to see whether it will meet its coverage goals and enrollees will get the care they need.
On the safety net, Ed Bolen detailed how Maine’s cut in SNAP benefits foreshadows cuts for low-income, unemployed adults in other states. Kathy Ruffing listed recent expert recommendations to make Social Security’s disability programs more efficient.