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BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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CBPP

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets, food assistance, and low-income housing assistance.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Robert Greenstein debunked the claim by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that most federal spending on low-income programs fails to reach beneficiaries.  Chuck Marr urged Congress to shrink the “tax gap” by taking steps to boost the collection of taxes that are already owed.
  • On state budgets, Nick Johnson warned against recent proposals to raise taxes on poor families while slashing them for the wealthiest households.  Michael Leachman summarized our joint report with the ACLU on state corrections spending and listed examples of cost-saving criminal justice reforms.  Phil Oliff noted that while state revenues are improving, states still face a long and uncertain recovery.
  • On food assistance, Dottie Rosenbaum highlighted two newly updated papers providing background information on SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
  • On low-income housing assistance, Douglas Rice explained why a proposed expansion of the Moving to Work block grant program would be a mistake.
In other news, we released reports on Mitt Romney’s charge that most federal low-income spending goes to overhead and bureaucracy, improving budget analysis of state criminal justice reforms, and the danger of expanding the Moving to Work housing initiative.