This week on Off the Charts, we talked about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s sweeping budget plan, the continuing 2011 federal appropriations process, state pensions, state budgets, and tax policy.
- On the Ryan budget plan, we explained that two-thirds of the proposed budget cuts would come from programs for low-income Americans. Robert Greenstein appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the Ryan plan. Edwin Park explained how the plan to convert Medicaid into block grants would result in millions more uninsured or underinsured Americans and detailed how it would harm states, beneficiaries, and providers. Dottie Rosenbaum debunked Ryan’s claim that SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) is a major contributor to the nation’s long-term fiscal problem. Chad Stone discussed how the Heritage Foundation used “bizarre” unemployment projections in its analysis of how Ryan’s plan would affect the economy and illustrated how the plan would weaken the automatic federal response to economic downturns. Chuck Marr detailed why Ryan’s plan would limit opportunities for economic advancement for low and moderate-income Americans. Jim Horney revealed why the plan produces far less real deficit cutting than reported. Finally, Paul Van de Water outlined how Ryan’s plan would raise the total health care costs that are attributable to Medicare beneficiaries.
- On the battle to finish 2011 appropriations bills, Robert Greenstein returned to MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the ongoing fight.
- On pensions, Elizabeth McNichol highlighted the fact that even some conservative thinkers agree that public pensions are not driving states’ current budget problem, nor can pension reforms solve them.
- On state budgets, Erica Williams detailed the serious problems that governors are facing and the best ways for states to combat steeply declining state revenues. She also explained how the recently approved Arizona state budget slashes important social services for residents and will ultimately harm Arizona’s economy.
- On tax policy, Jon Shure debunked the myth that state tax policies are a reason why people move from one state to another.
In other news, the Center delved more deeply into the Ryan budget plan. Along with issuing a statement from Robert Greenstein, we released analyses explaining the plan’s impact on the deficit, how it would drastically shrink the size of government, how two-thirds of its budget cuts would fall on programs for low-income people, and how the plan would deeply cut SNAP (formerly called food stamps).
We also released a report about a Republican Study Committee bill that would require deep cuts in programs for the poor and a misguided proposal to enact a “repatriation tax holiday” for corporations. We issued LaDonna Pavetti’s testimony on family income support policy before a House Ways and Means subcommittee, and we released a podcast on governors’ budget proposals.