This week on Off the Charts, we focused on federal and state taxes and the safety net.
On federal and state taxes, Chuck Marr explained how the House Republican approach to make “tax extenders” permanent represents both ill-advised fiscal policy and misguided priorities and excerpted his Real Clear Policy post, where he pointed out that repealing the federal estate tax would benefit the heirs of the wealthiest estates greatly — and the vast majority of estates not at all. He also noted that IRS Oversight Board survey data show that Americans overwhelmingly take pride in paying their taxes. Chye-Ching Huang listed four facts about the tax code’s marriage penalties and marriage bonuses. Brandon DeBot highlighted John Oliver’s funny take on how the IRS plays a fundamentally important, and often underappreciated, role in our government. Michael Leachman illustrated the ins and outs of state taxes and highlighted findings in the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s new report that show that undocumented immigrants pay a larger share of their income in state and local taxes than the richest 1 percent. For Tax Day, we rounded up all of our recent tax pieces and Roxy Caines thanked the thousands of volunteers who helped file more than 3 million tax returns for low-income households this year.
On the safety net, Judy Solomon described smart ways that states have reduced non-emergency ER visits by Medicaid beneficiaries. Ed Bolen reported that food pantries will face additional demand as a three-month limit on SNAP benefits kicks in for unemployed, childless adults in many areas.