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This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget, federal taxes, health care, food assistance, and state budgets and taxes.

  • On the federal budget, Robert Greenstein contrasted White House talking points on reaching out to the “poorest and most vulnerable communities” with the President’s actual budget proposals. Sharon Parrott detailed President Trump’s proposal for large new cuts in non-defense discretionary spending. Aviva Aron-Dine and Jacob Leibenluft previewed President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress and Leibenluft showed afterwards that the speech failed to close the large gap between Trump’s promises and policies. Isaac Shapiro provided context for assessing Trump’s plan to cut development assistance. Michael Leachman warned that a proposed constitutional convention ostensibly on federal spending issues would put the Constitution up for grabs.
  • On federal taxes, Chye-Ching Huang explained that assessments of President Trump’s tax policies should include the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) revenue increases. Chuck Marr disputed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s claim that the “Mnuchin rule” against giving high-income Americans an overall tax cut shouldn’t apply to ACA repeal. Huang, Marr, Brandon DeBot, and Guillermo Herrera detailed Trump’s proposed tax cut on “pass-through” income, most of which goes to high-income people. Huang showed that the President’s child care tax proposal would do little for those who most need help affording child care.
  • On health care, Edwin Park explained that imposing a Medicaid per capita cap would shift costs to states and harm tens of millions of low-income beneficiaries. Aviva Aron-Dine highlighted that Republican governors’ plan to cap Medicaid funding would threaten coverage for beneficiaries. Hannah Katch pointed out that imposing Medicaid work requirements would penalize those least able to get and hold a job, while keeping others from improving their health and participating in the workforce. Judith Solomon warned that Kentucky’s proposed Medicaid changes would threaten the state’s impressive coverage gains under the ACA. Tara Straw noted that a House Republican proposal for a new tax credit to help people buy insurance is no substitute for the ACA’s credit. Jesse Cross-Call showed why Rhode Island’s experience under its Medicaid waiver is no model of how a block grant would affect states.
  • On food assistance, Dottie Rosenbaum explained why block-granting SNAP would abandon the decades-long federal commitment to reducing hunger. Zoë Neuberger cited research showing that toddlers living in food-insecure families are likelier to do poorly when they enter school. She also listed ways in which SNAP and WIC help young children in the short and long term. We emphasized SNAP’s critical role in helping millions of low-income seniors, children, Latinos, and African Americans. We also updated our chart book outlining how SNAP helps struggling families put food on the table.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Eric Figueroa and Samantha Waxman detailed which states tax the sale of food for home consumption in 2017. Michael Leachman cited Kansas’ failure to adequately fund education as one casualty of its unaffordable tax cuts.

Chart of the week: Non-Defense Appropriations Would Fall Under Trump Plan

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

Chicago Braces for an Austerity Double Whammy
City Lab
February 24, 2017

Does America’s Housing Policy Need a Reset?
Pacific Standard
March 2, 2017

The GOP poverty agenda, decoded
Washington Post
March 2, 2017

Can Trump get more welfare recipients back to work?
USA Today
March 2, 2017

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