This week at CBPP, we focused on state budgets and taxes, the federal budget and taxes, the safety net, housing, and health reform.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Mitchell reported that funding cuts and rising tuition have made college less affordable in a new report and blog post and mapped the impact of these changes. Michael Leachman described a new study undermining the claim that state tax cuts improve the economy and, along with Michael Mazerov, described why cutting personal income taxes is a poor strategy for economic growth in a new report and fact sheet. Erica Williams explained that Kansas lawmakers are considering scaling back part of Governor Sam Brownback’s massive 2012 tax cuts. She also highlighted momentum in California to create a state earned income tax credit.
On the federal budget and taxes, David Reich explained that the House is trying to circumvent the 2011 Budget Control Act’s cap on defense funding while providing no relief for non-defense funding. Bryann DaSilva tallied the number of Americans in rural areas who benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. We also updated our congressional budget roundup to include analyses of the final budget agreement.
On the safety net, Arloc Sherman examined important shifts in the safety net’s performance over time in a new report and blog post. Kathy Ruffing listed the demographic factors that explain most of the increase in Social Security Disability Insurance rolls and elaborated on some of the non-demographic factors. We also updated our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession.
On housing, Douglas Rice warned that a House funding bill would halt recent progress on restoring lost housing vouchers and reducing homelessness. Barbara Sard and Will Fischer explained key features of a federal renters’ tax credit. Alicia Mazzara showed that housing affordability has worsened across the country since before the Great Recession. We also updated our housing data fact sheets with statistics on federal rental assistance in urban and rural areas.
On health reform, Matt Broaddus gave the full story on health reform’s impact on emergency room visits and summarized Medicaid’s long-term benefits for children’s future earnings and health.