This week on Off the Charts, we talked about the economy and unemployment, taxes, Medicaid, food assistance programs, and state budgets.
On the economy and unemployment, Jared Bernstein highlighted what the federal government should — and shouldn’t — do to boost the fragile recovery. Michael Leachman explained that a bill enabling states to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed would hurt them and the economy.
On taxes, Chuck Marr showed that Tim Pawlenty’s proposed tax cuts are more tilted to the wealthiest Americans than President Bush’s tax cuts.
On Medicaid, Judy Solomon debunked the claim that Medicaid coverage is worse than no health coverage at all.
On food assistance, Zoe Neuberger outlined new rules to ensure that federal subsidies for school meals for low-income children aren’t diverted to pay for junk food or meals for better-off children. She also disproved a false claim regarding administrative costs in the WIC nutrition program.
On state budgets, Phil Oliff outlined our latest analysis showing that while states are beginning to climb out of a deep hole, many still face major challenges.
In other news, we showed that the Camp-Hatch unemployment insurance bill would harm the unemployed and the economy. We outlined ways to make the TANF contingency fund more effective and rebutted the claim that WIC has high administrative costs. We also explained that imposing a cap on overall federal spending would make it nearly impossible to enact major climate legislation. Finally, we updated our backgrounder on how many weeks of unemployment insurance are available.