Here are three things to keep in mind in examining the official figures on poverty in 2009, which the Census Bureau will release on Thursday:
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Since last October, the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued several projections of national health spending under various versions of health reform legislation, the most recent of which came out last Thursday. Each time, health-reform critics have contended that the projections show that health reform won’t slow the growth of health care costs. And each time (see here, here, and here), we have explained why the critics are wrong. So here we go again.
The Senate will vote tomorrow on an amendment to small business legislation that would seriously weaken an essential element of the new health reform law — the requirement that individuals obtain health insurance or pay a penalty — and eliminate preventive care funding aimed at reducing the onset of chronic diseases and improving overall health.
Analysts Mark Zandi, Peter Orszag, and Howard Gleckman have all said sensible things about what would be the best policy for dealing with the expiring Bush tax cuts (which include a panoply of “middle class” tax cuts as well as cuts in marginal tax rates for the richest 2 percent of taxpayers). Unfortunately, their smart policy analysis has been lost in the headlines generated by their actual proposals, which are colored by their political judgment about what might be achievable in today’s fractious (and fractured) Congress.
Below are the answers to today’s quiz on the impact of government programs in boosting the economy and reducing hardship during the recession. Send an email to email@example.com today with your final score for the challenge and we’ll send you one of our newly-designed Center on Budget T-shirts.
We issued an analysis this morning of House Minority Leader John Boehner’s proposal to cut funding for discretionary (i.e., annually appropriated) programs other than defense, homeland security, and veterans and to extend all of President Bush’s tax cuts for two years, including those for the wealthiest Americans. Here are the highlights: