BEYOND THE NUMBERS
In Case You Missed It...
Last week, we released a statement from our president, Robert Greenstein, adding CBPP’s voice to calls for justice and systemic reform in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and subsequent protests for Black lives. Greenstein stated, in part:
As an organization whose central mission is to advance economic justice, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recognizes the critical importance of speaking out forcefully against racism — particularly racism against Black people, which persists in strong and often virulent form some 155 years after the end of the Civil War — and policies and practices that help perpetuate the stunning disparities that disadvantage people of color.
Many of our analyses the past two weeks (on federal taxes, the federal budget, housing, food assistance, the economy, health, Social Security, and state budgets and taxes) highlight these racial disparities amid COVID-19 and ways to address them — issues we’ll continue to monitor.
- On federal taxes, Chuck Marr, Kris Cox, Kathleen Bryant, Stacy Dean, Roxy Caines, and Arloc Sherman explained how aggressive state outreach can help reach the 12 million non-filers eligible for stimulus payments, disproportionately people of color. Bryant and Samantha Jacoby reported that the proposal to extend full expensing beyond 2022 could discourage investment this year and hurt the recovery.
- On the federal budget, Chad Stone detailed why CARES Act measures strengthening unemployment insurance should continue while need remains.
- On housing, we reported that people experiencing or at risk of homelessness — disproportionately people of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and others — should be a priority in state COVID-19 responses. Ann Oliva testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance on America’s renters, COVID-19, and an unprecedented eviction crisis. Oliva also explained how states and communities can leverage COVID-19 funding to fight homelessness and help marginalized communities.
- On food assistance, Zoë Neuberger urged the remaining eight states not fully participating in the Pandemic-EBT program to do so to help families losing out on school meals. Ed Bolen detailed retailers’ important role in SNAP. We updated our brief overview of Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program, and detailed how the program helps Puerto Rico’s seniors and over half of its children.
- On the economy, Chye-Ching Huang and Katie Windham advocated for further fiscal relief and stimulus to meet the needs of younger generations. Jared Bernstein and Janelle Jones reported on the impact of the COVID-19 recession on the jobs and incomes of persons of color. We also updated our backgrounder on how many weeks of unemployment compensation are available and our chart book tracking the post-Great Recession economy.
- On health, Judith Solomon explained why Medicaid needs direct funding to providers and more federal funds for states. We also updated our report on how states are leveraging Medicaid to respond to COVID-19 and our Sabotage Watch tracker on the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.
- On Social Security, Kathleen Romig urged policymakers to ensure that the Social Security Administration has enough funds to support essential services.
- On state budgets and taxes, we updated our State Budget Watch tracking revenue shortfalls.
Chart of the Week — Unemployment Insurance Claims Skyrocketed Due to COVID-19
A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts this past week. Here are some of the highlights:
750,000 Floridians still haven’t gotten stimulus checks and won’t unless they contact IRS by October
June 12, 2020
If You’ve Lost Your Health Plan In The COVID Crisis, You’ve Got Options
Kaiser Health News
June 12, 2020
Calls grow for the Federal Reserve to target lowering the black unemployment rate
June 10, 2020
Some realistic solutions for income inequality
June 10, 2020
Congressional Hearing Elevates The Need For $100 Billion In Rental Assistance
June 10, 2020
‘There’s only so much we can do’: Food banks plead for help
June 8, 2020
Depleted sales tax revenue means states have to cut budgets
June 4, 2020