This week on Off the Charts, we focused on today’s jobs report, budget proposals and deficit reduction, state budgets, corporate tax reform, and health policy.
On today’s jobs report, Chad Stone explained that job creation bounced back from its depressed level in January during the past month, but he also said the report shows that the labor market is still suffering from remaining effects of the recession. Elizabeth McNichol highlighted the 30,000 state and local jobs that were cut in February, despite the employment gains in the private sector.
On budget proposals and deficit reduction, Stone explained the differences between the Congressional Budget Office and the Obama Administration’s economic forecasts and how that affects their estimates of the President’s projected deficit reduction in his budget. Kathy Ruffing debunked an article claiming that Social Security will run a $45 billion deficit this year. In reality, it will run a $72 billion surplus in 2011. And, Barbara Sard made some predictions about what will happen to housing funding in the federal budget in the next two years.
On state budgets, Nick Johnson highlighted the budget situation in Wisconsin and how Governor Scott Walker’s budget would force low-income working families with children to pay $41 million more in income taxes over the next two years by cutting the state’s earned income tax credit. He also described a way for states to avoid billions in revenue losses.
On corporate tax reform, we featured a portion of Chuck Marr’s report outlining the tests that a well-designed reform proposal should meet.
On health policy, we discussed why proposals to block grant the Medicaid program and repeal its maintenance of effort requirements are ill advised. January Angeles demonstrated how a Republican report exaggerated the cost to states of health reform’s Medicaid expansion, and Edwin Park clarified how Medicaid costs are growing more slowly than private insurance. Judy Solomon illustrated how a bill passed in the House could drive many away from health reform by imposing large tax penalties on people who received subsidies to buy coverage in the health insurance marketplaces (“exchanges”) that the law will set up.