The new fiscal year starts in most states tomorrow, but don’t expect governors and state legislators to mark the occasion with champagne. From Augusta to Austin, Tallahassee to Sacramento, the mood is dour.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Today, we sat down with Sarah Lueck, health policy analyst at the Center, to discuss a provision in the new health reform law that will start helping young adults this fall.
Critics claim that the new health reform law’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility will place heavy new financial burdens on states and prompt large numbers of insured people to drop their private coverage for Medicaid. The first claim is incorrect, as I explained recently, and here’s why the second one is too:
A recent Heritage Foundation backgrounder would have you believe that President Bush’s tax cuts, two wars, and a new prescription drug program under Medicare “play a relatively minor role in the growth of future deficits.” Quite the contrary, the tax cuts alone are a huge factor.
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, according to new data from the Congressional Budget Office. Here’s how different income groups did over that period:
Combining bad economics with bad fiscal policy, opponents are on the verge of defeating the compromise jobs bill before the Senate, and we can expect more hardship and a slower economic recovery as a result.
As I’ve said before, the case for extending unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and state fiscal assistance is powerful:
When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie claimed that his proposed budget would “protect and care for the most vulnerable among us,” he apparently was referring to the state’s millionaires rather than its low-wage workers.
I’ve been calling the TANF Emergency Fund the Recovery Act’s best-kept secret, but the secret is out — just ask the nearly 200,000* adults and youth who will get jobs through one of the many subsidized jobs programs the fund supports across the country (see map). The Senate is considering jobs legislation that would extend the fund (which expires September 30) for a year and fully offset the cost. This may be the last chance for congressional action before both the fund and most of those jobs disappear.