This week on Off the Charts, we talked about taxes and deficits, poverty and unemployment, Medicare, TANF, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and housing policy.
- On taxes and deficits, Paul Van de Water laid out five reasons why the congressional “supercommittee” should consider revenue increases in order to produce a balanced deficit-reduction plan. Chuck Marr rebutted an opinion piece in the Washington Post regarding millionaires and taxes.
- On poverty and unemployment, Erica Williams revealed that child poverty increased in 42 states between 2007 and 2010, and Mike Leachman looked at an Administration proposal to help states strengthen their unemployment insurance programs.
- On Medicare, Paul Van de Water showed why converting it to a “premium support” system, as the House-passed budget resolution would do, would likely create a two-tier health care system in which only affluent people would receive the most up-to-date medical care.
- On TANF, LaDonna Pavetti pointed out that Congress failed to continue Supplemental Grants for 17 states, many of which face high rates of child poverty and deep poverty. She also explained that Congress can help offset this funding cut by redesigning the TANF Contingency Fund, which states can draw upon during periods of economic distress.
- On SSI, Kathy Ruffing highlighted that up to 4,600 impoverished elderly or disabled refugees will lose their benefits on October 1, and hundreds more each month, if Congress doesn’t act.
- On housing policy, Will Fischer explained that a big expansion of HUD’s “Moving to Work” demonstration is a misguided housing strategy and followed up with five ways to strengthen housing assistance without expanding the demonstration.
In other news, Paul Van de Water released a report on the need for the supercommittee to put together a balanced deficit-reduction package that includes both spending cuts and revenue increases. Will Fischer explained why an expansion of HUD’s “Moving to Work” demonstration isn’t justified. Finally, Paul Van de Water detailed the problems with Medicare “premium support” proposals.