Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s call for education leaders to support health reform’s repeal on the grounds that the state would have to finance it through big cuts in education is based on a gross overestimate of the law’s likely impact on the state.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Today we sat down with Chuck Marr, Director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center, to discuss the debate about taxes that will take center stage when Congress returns after Labor Day.
Kathy Ruffing and I recently noted that the cost of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers roughly equals the amount of Social Security’s 75-year shortfall. Today at The Atlantic, Megan McArdle questions both our estimate and our analysis. Here’s why our comparison makes sense.
I have written several recent posts about the importance of extending the TANF Emergency Fund, a part of last year’s federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that states and localities are using to help place 240,000 individuals in subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors. I won’t repeat those arguments today. Instead, I’ll share with you what people who are working because of the fund say about it.
This week on Off the Charts, we discussed the economy, why President Bush’s tax cuts for high-income households should expire on schedule, the tough budget choices states are making, Social Security, and the health reform law.
The bottom line from today’s Commerce Department report on gross domestic product (GDP) is that the economy is growing far too slowly to reduce unemployment and it is still too early to declare that the recovery is on solid footing. The recovery could definitely use a boost from further stimulus.
To correct some recent stories suggesting that Social Security faces deep and immediate financial problems, a new report from our colleague Kathy Ruffing outlines the program’s outlook over the short and long term. Here’s the summary:
Robert Greenstein, the Center’s executive director, and John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, explain why President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy should expire on schedule in December in this op-ed published in the Financial Times:
In an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal (“Our Blue-Collar Great Depression”), Rockefeller Foundation executive Janice Nittoli makes a compelling argument for extending the TANF Emergency Fund. I’ve written several times (see here and here) that Congress should extend this Recovery Act-created fund — which states and localities are using to help create some 240,000 subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors — beyond its September 30 expiration. As Nittoli explains:
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 30: We’ve revised some of the figures in this post. Click here for the updated numbers.
As I’ve said before, from the standpoint of economic efficiency there’s a clear-cut case for letting the Bush tax cuts for people over $250,000 expire on schedule in December. Sunsetting the high-income tax cuts makes just as much sense from the standpoint of equity. Recent data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show a stunning shift in income away from the middle class and towards the highest-income people in the country over the last three decades: