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In Case You Missed It...


This week on Off the Charts, we focused on taxes, the President’s budget, health reform, Social Security, state budgets and taxes, and the economy.

  • On taxes, we compiled a Tax Day roundup of our relevant analyses and blog posts.  Chuck Marr highlighted our top ten federal tax charts and discussed new research showing that the benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) extend beyond working parents to their children.  Nicholas Johnson highlighted our top five state tax charts.  And we thanked the many volunteers who help low-income households file their tax returns.
  • On the President’s budget, Chad Stone excerpted his US News & World Report column explaining that the budget leaves little room for further compromise if the goal is a balanced package that reduces the deficit while protecting vulnerable Americans.  Douglas Rice noted that the budget holds the ground on housing assistance in a very difficult budget environment.
  • On health reform, Shelby Gonzales explained how “navigator” programs will help consumers choose the right health plan under health reform.  Judy Solomon noted that the President’s proposal to delay cuts in payments to hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income patients is no reason for states to opt out of health reform’s Medicaid expansion.  Jesse Cross-Call pointed out that low-wage workers lack health coverage options and will benefit from the Medicaid expansion.
  • On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing explained how Supplemental Security Income helps the poorest elderly and disabled Americans and showed why one highly publicized county where many residents receive federal disability benefits is atypical.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Liz McNichol laid out five strategies to smooth out the ups and downs of state tax collections.
  • On the economy, we highlighted Jared Bernstein’s participation in an Intelligence Squared debate on the minimum wage.

In other news, we released a paper on strategies to address state tax volatility and a fact sheet on receipt of the EITC and the Child Tax Credit in rural areas.  We updated papers on myths and realities about the estate tax and the impact on charitable giving of the President’s proposal to limit high-income tax breaks.  And, for Tax Day, we updated our chart book of top ten tax charts and our backgrounders on deficits, debt, and interest; tax exemptions, deductions, and credits; federal payroll taxes; and marginal and average tax rates.