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June 25, 2010 at 10:44 PM
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CBPP

This week on Off the Charts, we discussed the Senate jobs bill, state tax policies, and the growth in income inequality.

  • Earlier in the week, LaDonna Pavetti, director of the Center’s welfare reform and income support division, highlighted the TANF Emergency Fund.  The 2009 Recovery Act’s “best-kept secret,” the fund supports state jobs programs that will provide work for nearly 190,000 adults and youth. The jobs bill that failed to clear the Senate this week would have extended the fund (which expires September 30), enabling states to keep these effective programs in place.
  • Chad Stone, our chief economist, sat down with us for a Q & A on unemployment insurance, which the jobs bill would have extended as well. Stone also blogged about the importance of the jobs bill and the misplaced arguments against it.  He explained why it’s vital to extend unemployment insurance, aid to states, and the TANF Emergency Fund, despite political obstacles.
  • On the state level, Jon Shure, deputy director of state fiscal policy, explained that research studies contradict the claim that rich people flee higher-tax states for lower-tax ones. Raising taxes on the highest-income households, Shure argued, is “a sensible and effective way for states to help offset the huge drop in revenues during the recession.”  Shure looked at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s proposed budget, which would essentially raise taxes on low-income working families even as Christie has ruled out raising taxes on millionaires.
  • Arloc Sherman, senior researcher, discussed new data showing that after-tax incomes nearly quadrupled for the top 1 percent of Americans in the last three decades, while barely rising among middle- and lower-income households.

In other news, the Center released reports explaining why the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion isn’t likely to “crowd out” private insurance, what states and the economy lost when the Senate jobs bill failed, and new Congressional Budget Office data on income inequality.  We also released a podcast on the basics of unemployment insurance (available on our website and on iTunes).


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