This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, the economy, poverty, Medicaid, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and state budgets.
On the federal budget and taxes, we featured an analysis of the new deficit-reduction plan from a majority of Democrats on the congressional “supercommittee.” Chuck Marr detailed why a corporate tax holiday would raise the deficit and do little to create jobs and explained that adopting a territorial system of international taxation would shift jobs and investments overseas. He also cautioned against repealing legislation designed to prevent tax cheating by government contractors.
On the economy, Jared Bernstein debunked common myths about small businesses and job creation, and Chad Stone pointed to recent Commerce Department data showing that the economy picked up steam in the third quarter of 2011 but is still operating well below capacity.
On poverty, Jared Bernstein highlighted new Congressional Budget Office data showing that income inequality has grown in recent decades and that government has become less effective in pushing back against this trend. Liz Schott explained that many states are shrinking or eliminating their General Assistance programs, which provide an important safety net for poor childless adults.
On Medicaid, Edwin Park explained that converting the program into a block grant would shift costs to states.
On SSI, Kathy Ruffing listed some important facts about its benefits for disabled children in light of this week’s congressional hearing on the topic.
On state budgets, Liz McNichol pointed out the significant exaggerations in a recent report on state budget problems and outlined five important facts about public employees. Phil Oliff discussed the negative impact that declining state funding for higher education is having on college affordability.