This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and the economy, federal taxes, and income inequality.
On the federal budget and the economy, Chad Stone presented charts providing context for the November jobs report. We also featured Robert Greenstein’s Senate testimony on the economic problems that a balanced budget amendment would cause and James Horney’s report on the spending cuts that a Republican proposal would impose to pay for extending the payroll tax cut. And Arloc Sherman noted that extending the payroll tax would keep 1.1 million people out of poverty.
On federal taxes, Chuck Marr explained that extending and expanding the payroll tax cut would help small businesses and highlighted a recent op-ed explaining why “taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.” Chuck also warned that enacting another tax holiday for “repatriated” foreign corporate profits would likely fail to boost the economy.
On income inequality, Chad Stone began our special series on the issue by outlining the major trends in inequality since World War II. In subsequent posts in the series, Hannah Shaw described the loss of broadly shared prosperity beginning in the early 1970s, highlighted the widening of inequality since the 1970s, looked more closely at income trends in the 1979-2007 period, and examined the concentration of income and wealth. In addition, Chad Stone pointed to an essay from Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow exploring the causes of the sharp rise in income inequality, and Jared Bernstein noted a new study showing that income mobility isn’t increasing to help offset the growth in income inequality and may in fact be declining.