This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget, federal taxes, state budgets, the economy, and poverty.
- On the federal budget, we explained why a recent proposal by several Republican members of the deficit-reduction “supercommittee” is not a step toward balanced deficit reduction. Robert Greenstein rebutted the claim that the supercommittee could get $600 billion in Medicare savings without harming low-income beneficiaries, and Paul Van de Water pointed out that a bad deal in the supercommittee would be worse than no deal at all. Also, Richard Kogan highlighted an analysis explaining why a balanced budget amendment would harm the economy.
- On federal taxes, Chuck Marr warned that adopting a territorial system of international taxation would create a powerful incentive for companies to shift jobs and investments overseas. He also pointed to recent Congressional Budget Office data correcting the myth that many low- and middle-income households don’t pay taxes.
- On state budgets, Elizabeth McNichol showed that while revenues have started rising, they aren’t likely to get fully back on track for a number of years.
- On the economy, we featured a video of Chad Stone and Jared Bernstein discussing the policy implications of today’s unprecedented levels of long-term unemployment.
- On poverty, Arloc Sherman explained that Recovery Act initiatives kept nearly 7 million Americans out of poverty in 2010 and pointed out that the poverty rate would have been nearly twice as high in 2010 without the government safety net. Indivar Dutta-Gupta discussed the Census Bureau’s new poverty measure, which shows more clearly the extent to which federal and state programs reduce poverty.
In other news, we released reports on the recent plan from Republicans on the supercommittee, the proposed constitutional balanced budget amendment, and the anti-poverty impact of Recovery Act initiatives.