This week on Off the Charts, we focused on federal taxes, state taxes, health reform, Social Security, housing, and the safety net.
On federal taxes, Chuck Marr warned against making “tax extenders” permanent without offsetting the cost, and Brandon DeBot noted the House Ways and Means Committee’s approval of more extenders bills. Marr also pointed to a double standard in how lawmakers view tax compliance, depending on whether low-income working families or small businesses are at issue.
On state taxes, Michael Mazerov highlighted an effort to make state and local tax breaks for businesses more transparent.
On health reform, Tara Straw pointed to our new guide to help tax preparers understand the new tax-filing rules related to health reform. Jessica Schubel discussed how states can (and can’t) change the way they implement health reform through waivers.
On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing rebutted claims that Disability Insurance is in crisis. Paul Van de Water showed that approval rates for Disability Insurance benefits have fallen due to greater oversight.
On housing, Douglas Rice listed three takeaways from the President’s budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Barbara Sard described how federal rental assistance isn’t keeping up with need.
On the safety net, Zoë Neuberger explained that the WIC nutrition program works best under a science-based approach. Brynne Keith-Jennings showed how SNAP (food stamp) costs are falling. Ife Floyd noted that funding for effective home visiting programs will soon expire.