Today, we sat down with Chuck Marr, the Center’s Director of Federal Tax Policy, to discuss the tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
A new survey of leading economists about the state budget crisis adds ammunition to the case for more federal fiscal relief. Lawmakers should take a close look and reconsider their failure to provide additional relief to date.
This week on Off the Charts, we examined the economy, why President Bush’s tax cuts for high-income households should expire on schedule, the importance of extending the TANF Emergency Fund to create and preserve jobs, key elements of the health reform law, and one step to avoid in addressing long-term federal deficits and debt.
“It could’ve been a lot worse” may not be a winner as a political message, but it’s the right response when people complain that the TARP financial stabilization bill and the 2009 Recovery Act didn’t work. This chart, based on new data on gross domestic product (GDP) released this morning, shows the turnaround in the economy since Congress enacted these measures.
A front-page story in yesterday’s New York Times emphasized that the TANF Emergency Fund, which states and localities are using to help create some 240,000 subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors, has helped many businesses as well as jobless workers weather the recession. That’s an important point that Congress should keep in mind as it decides how to help small businesses weather the recession.
UPDATE 7/29/10 7:56 p.m. (ET): This housing amendment has been withdrawn.
The 2011 transportation-housing appropriations bill that the House is now considering cuts $1.3 billion in funding that President Obama requested — and now four Democratic representatives (Peters of Michigan, Adler of New Jersey, Himes of Connecticut, and Welch of Vermont) plan to offer an amendment to make substantially deeper cuts, including $500 million in cuts to low-income housing programs.
As I mentioned a couple of months ago, we’ve launched a series of fact sheets called “Moving Forward with Health Reform” to help people (especially non-wonks) understand how the new health reform law will work — and whether the claims from opponents are true.
Today we issued two more pieces in this series:
At its meeting yesterday, the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform discussed imposing a numerical limit on federal spending as a share of the economy. One of the commission’s co-chairs has suggested capping spending and revenues at 21
percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the average spending level over the past 40 years. But as I explain in a new report, averages from the past aren’t a good guide for the future:
On our conference call for journalists this morning, former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder made the case for letting President Bush’s tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 expire this year and using the savings over the next two years for measures that would better stimulate the economy, such as extended unemployment benefits and food stamps. Below is the audio and a cleaned-up transcript of the presentation portion of the call.
Today, we sat down with Health Policy Analyst Sarah Lueck to discuss the great news that millions of Americans will soon be able to receive preventive health care services free of charge because of the new health reform law.