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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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December 18, 2010

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the tax cut-unemployment insurance (UI) deal, the federal budget, welfare reform, the economy, food assistance, and state budgets.

December 17, 2010

If you plotted a chart showing that every single day, a rooster crows at dawn and then the sun comes up, would you have proven that the rooster caused the sunrise? Of course not. Unfortunately, some of the “analysis” purportedly showing that state taxes are bad for a state’s economy is similarly lacking in rigor — and can be terribly misleading.

December 16, 2010

Contrary to some claims, the omnibus appropriations bill the Senate will likely vote on soon is not “bloated” — it provides $27 billion less in discretionary funding for the current fiscal year (2011) than President Obama requested and is consistent with the severe funding cap that Senators Sessions and McCaskill proposed earlier this year.

December 16, 2010

In recent weeks, the already weak safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens became substantially weaker. For the first time since 1996 when President Clinton and Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant as part of welfare reform, no additional TANF funds are available from the federal government to help states respond to the large increases in the number of impoverished families as a result of a recession. We’ve just issued an analysis on the topic.

December 16, 2010

As Congress debates measures to extend Bush-era tax cuts and fund government operations for the current fiscal year before its members leave town for the holidays, we thought you might be interested in some perspective on how the federal government uses tax dollars. (For a more detailed analysis, read our Policy Basics here or listen to our podcast on the topic here).

December 14, 2010

Yesterday, Robert Greenstein appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to discuss the deal on taxes and unemployment insurance making its way through Congress.

December 14, 2010

In this podcast we will discuss the latest information showing that the Recovery Act is creating jobs and boosting the economy. I’m Shannon Spillane and I’m joined by Michael Leachman, Assistant Director of the Center’s State Fiscal Project.

December 14, 2010

The compromise between President Obama and Republican leaders would extend federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) through the end of next year.

December 13, 2010

The child nutrition bill that President Obama signed this morning includes an important new option that will allow thousands of schools in high-poverty areas to focus on feeding children rather than processing paperwork. This is a terrific opportunity for states to serve more low-income children through the school meals program.

December 11, 2010

Last night, the Senate released legislative language for the tax cut-unemployment insurance compromise negotiated between President Obama and Congressional Republicans. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released an official cost estimate for the revenue portions of the bill shortly thereafter. These graphs illustrate the various components of the legislation and their costs; click here for details.

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