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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

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November 5, 2010

Today’s employment report contains much better news on job creation than was expected, but it does not change the underlying fact that the economic recovery remains weak and the economy needs a boost. Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context; see our statement with analysis.

November 4, 2010

When Congress returns to work in two weeks, it faces an important decision: whether to let federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, which are helping 5 million jobless workers and their families, expire even though unemployment is near 10 percent and expected to stay above 9 percent through 2011.

November 3, 2010

As newly elected governors confront their states’ grim fiscal reality, one promise that some of them made during the campaign should go in the trash along with the yard signs and the balloons from last night’s victory celebrations: cutting or eliminating their state’s corporate income tax.

November 3, 2010

Voters in more than half of the states elected new governors yesterday — the first time that’s happened since 1938, according to Stateline.org. But one thing hasn’t changed: states still face massive revenue problems resulting from the recession. Next year will be states’ worst budget year ever. So what will the new governors do about it?

November 2, 2010

In this podcast we will discuss how in some states people will vote today on ballot initiatives today that will significantly affect public services. I’m Shannon Spillane and I’m joined by the Deputy Director of the Center’s State Fiscal Project, Jon Shure.

November 2, 2010

New York Times columnist David Brooks ridicules the Affordable Care Act provision tightening businesses’ reporting requirements to the IRS on payments for goods and services: “If you’re a freelancer and you buy a laptop from an Apple store, you have to file a 1099.” Brooks sees that as an “expensive interference in business life.”

November 1, 2010

A new report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) explains that permanently extending all of President Bush’s tax cuts would be extraordinarily expensive — CRS estimates the cost at $5 trillion over the next decade alone. The report recognizes that Congress, in deciding the future of the tax cuts, will need to consider the current weak economy as well as our unsustainable long-term budget path. But, it concludes, letting the Bush tax cuts aimed at the nation’s wealthiest 2 percent of households expire on schedule at the end of December makes sense from both perspectives. Here are the key quotes:

October 29, 2010

This week on Off the Charts, we blogged about health reform, unemployment, housing, state budgets, and the economy.

October 29, 2010

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Roy Scheider’s character announces in the movie Jaws when he sees the size of the shark they’re hunting. Today’s Commerce Department report on the economy is just the latest evidence that we’re going to need a bigger stimulus to address the Jaws-sized jobs deficit the nation faces.

October 28, 2010

As Americans renew their health insurance for the coming year, many are finding their premiums are going up. Insurance companies are raising rates — in some cases dramatically — and some are telling their customers that the new health reform law is to blame, as NPR reported this morning. But as the NPR story explains, health reform is hardly at fault for rising premiums.

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