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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

In Case You Missed It…

| By CBPP

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, Social Security, the safety net, state budgets and taxes, the economy, and housing.

  • On the federal budget and taxes, Joel Friedman explained why lawmakers shouldn’t play politics with the debt ceiling and described how the House reconciliation bill repealing key parts of health reform would raise long-term deficits.  We compiled a roundup of some of our major pieces in connection with House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan’s policy proposals and we updated our paper on the House Budget Committee’s plan to cut Pell Grants.
  • On Social Security, Paul Van de Water highlighted Lisa Ekman’s new paper explaining why expanding private disability insurance is unlikely to improve the financial state of Social Security Disability Insurance (DI).  We also updated our chart book on DI.
  • On the safety net, Ife Floyd listed nine states that leave families receiving benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in or near extreme poverty.  Liz Schott revealed that states spend only half of their TANF funds on the core welfare reform activities of child care, work activities, and basic cash assistance.  Schott also discussed how our nation’s cash welfare system is only a shell of what it was nearly two decades ago.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Elizabeth McNichol laid out three key pieces of data that states should consider when making budget decisions and pointed to our new interactive maps identifying current state cost estimate and budget planning practices.
  • On the economy, we hosted a conference call briefing with former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder and Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi to discuss their new landmark paper that we commissioned on the effectiveness of policies responding to the financial crisis and Great Recession.  We also excerpted Jared Bernstein’s new PostEverthing column on lessons from the Great Recession and the post he co-authored with New York University professor Lily Batchelder responding to inaccurate criticism of the Labor Department’s new conflict-of-interest rule for financial advisers.
  • On housing, Will Fischer highlighted his testimony on the Housing Opportunities through Modernization Act before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.

Chart of the Week: Interactive: State Budget Planning Tools

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

It Could Have Been So Much Worse
U.S. News & World Report
October 23, 2015

Raising Revenues Must Be Central Goal of Budget Talks
Moms Rising
October 21, 2015

The Myth of Welfare’s Corrupting Influence of the Poor
New York Times
October 20, 2015

2 economists imaged a financial crisis without stimulus or bailouts. It’s … ugly.
Vox.com
October 20, 2015

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