This week on Off the Charts, we talked about the debt limit debate, the federal budget, taxes, the economy, health reform, and state budgets.
- On the debt limit debate, Chad Stone pointed out that it is hypocritical to oppose raising the debt limit while voting for a budget plan that adds trillions of dollars in debt.
- On the federal budget, Paul Van de Water debunked statements that President Obama has greatly increased the size of government and that federal spending should be reduced to pre-recession levels. Paul also explained why the Corker-McCaskill spending cap would destabilize the economy, while Kathy Ruffing showed that the cap would severely harm veterans’ programs. January Angeles highlighted how the House-passed budget’s provision to severely cut Medicaid would harm seniors, children, and the disabled, among others.
- On taxes, Aviva Aron-Dine responded to the argument that low- and moderate-income people should pay more in taxes.
- On the economy, Chad Stone presented several charts providing context for the April unemployment report.
- On health reform, Sarah Lueck showed that a House bill to cancel funding for health insurance exchanges would result in 500,000 fewer people being insured in 2015. Judy Solomon explained how a bill to repeal health reform’s “maintenance-of-effort” provision would lead to large cuts in Medicaid eligibility.
- On state budgets, Nick Johnson illustrated why Arizona Governor Jan Brewer made the right decision in vetoing a rigid budget cap proposal.
In other news, we explained the basics of unemployment insurance, discussed online services for low-income programs, and released state-by-state fact sheets on federal rental assistance programs. Center experts testified before Congress on the
of the tax system, budget process changes to reduce deficits, and funding of state and local pensions. We analyzed how the House-passed plan to cut Medicaid would harm large numbers of vulnerable recipients and debunked an argument for replacing Medicare with vouchers. We also debunked the claim that the SNAP (food stamp) program is growing unsustainably and released a statement on the April jobs report.