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.