This week on Off the Charts, we talked about the federal budget, state budgets and taxes, health care, Social Security, and food assistance.
- On the federal budget, Jim Horney answered questions about the impact of the new budget rules in the House of Representatives.
- On state budget and tax, Nicholas Johnson highlighted the large reductions in state and local government workforces due to the recession. Erica Williams explained why cutting the earned income tax credit is a misguided approach to balancing state budgets, and Robert Tannenwald praised New Mexico’s new governor for her recent proposal to cut the state’s film tax credit. Michael Mazerov discussed Illinois’ new law to increase the state’s personal and corporate income taxes to close a portion of the state’s budget gap.
- On health care, Edwin Park showed that, contrary to claims that Medicaid costs are out of control, Medicaid actually costs less per beneficiary than private insurance.
- On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing outlined five reasons why policymakers should minimize any cuts in future benefits.
- On food assistance, Stacy Dean pointed to evidence that the need for SNAP (food stamp) benefits is likely to remain high for many years.
In other news, the Center issued reports on Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We also posted a Policy Basics summary of the SSI program and released a podcast on the impact of the new House budget rules.