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In Case You Missed It...


This week on Off the Charts, we talked about the budget, deficits and debt, taxes, health, poverty, and state issues.

  • On the budget, Robert Greenstein testified before Congress on why a constitutional balanced budget amendment would be unwise.
  • On deficits, Paul Van de Water debunked the Heritage Foundation’s claim that our methodology was flawed in showing that Bush policies and the economic downturn will account for virtually the entire deficit of the next decade.  On debt, Chad Stone explained that Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (and their associated interest costs) also account for almost half of projected public debt in 2019 as a share of the economy.
  • On taxes, Chuck Marr detailed the decline in tax rates for the very wealthiest Americans in recent years and demonstrated that a territorial tax system for U.S.-based multinational corporations would drop their U.S. corporate tax rate on their overseas investments to zero. Michael Leachman explained that states should publish tax expenditure reports to detail the cost of programs that policymakers often do not scrutinize.
  • On health issues, Judy Solomon explained why Rhode Island’s Medicaid waiver is no model for block grants in other states. Paul Van de Water showed that Medicare is already a means-tested program despite what some lawmakers may think.
  • On poverty, Arloc Sherman demonstrated that public programs currently under attack, including Social Security, SNAP (formerly called food stamps), and the Earned Income Tax Credit, keep one in six Americans out of poverty.
  • On state issues, Liz Schott explained that cuts to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will affect 700,000 low-income families that include 1.3 million children.

In other news, we released a report showing that tax expenditure reporting promotes state budget accountability.  We explained why ensuring effective risk adjustment is essential for the success of the new health care law.  We analyzed state cuts to TANF that affect 700,000 low-income families.