As today’s USA Today details, policymakers, unions, and celebrities are speaking out against large-scale teacher layoffs across the country — the Obama Administration estimates that as many as 300,000 teachers could lose their jobs. School districts face tough spending choices due to state budget cuts and an end to federal Recovery Act funding.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Analyzing the new GDP figures issued Friday, which showed state and local spending falling at the fastest rate in three decades, Matt Yglesias made the important point that the large cuts in state and local spending are a drag on the economy. The new figures are just the latest evidence that Congress should extend the Recovery Act’s fiscal relief to states.
A little-known component of last year’s Recovery Act is helping to place some 180,000 unemployed individuals in subsidized jobs across the country. But the program — and almost all of those jobs — will disappear soon unless Congress acts.
This Q & A is part four in a series on myths about health reform and its impact on the federal budget deficit with Jim Horney, our director of federal fiscal policy.
Just before midnight last night, Georgia’s legislature voted to eliminate a tax credit for 1 million workers earning under $20,000, joining several other states that are cutting (or considering cutting) tax benefits for low-income families. While states face severe budget pressures due to the recession, sacrificing their low-income tax credits is a terrible idea, for a host of reasons:
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial warns of “the likelihood that the Senate budget resolution dividend tax rate of 39.6% will become law next year. The millions of Americans who receive dividend income — most of them not rich — need to begin adjusting their investment strategy accordingly.”
Following up our post yesterday about the Peterson Foundation’s National Fiscal Summit, here’s a bit of what the Center’s executive director, Robert Greenstein, had to say:
Over the past two decades, a number of states have recognized the folly of taxing working-poor families deeper into poverty and, instead, have eliminated their income taxes on poor — and, in some states, near-poor — households. But our new survey finds that 13 of the 42 states with an income tax still tax two-parent families of four with earnings below the poverty line ($21,947).
As last week’s New York Times story on a new federal anti-homelessness program shows, the sharp recent rise in homelessness highlights the importance of helping low-income families afford decent housing. For years, one of our most effective tools has been the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which helps roughly 2 million low-income families — those at risk of homelessness as well as other families — cover the cost of renting modest units of their choice in the private market.