The Center's work on 'In Case You Missed It' Issues


In Case You Missed It…

April 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on Tax Day (April 15), the federal budget and taxes, health reform, state budgets and taxes, and the safety net.

  • On Tax Day, Chris Mai compiled CBPP’s top charts on state tax issues and Chuck Marr compiled our top federal tax charts.  We recognized the efforts of volunteers who helped file more than 3 million federal tax returns free of charge for low- and moderate-income people.  We also listed our most recent analyses on tax issues.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Chuck Marr excerpted his National Journal op-ed on why policymakers should strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers.  Will Fischer highlighted proposed legislation creating a tax credit to help low-income families afford housing.
  • On health reform, Paul Van de Water pointed to new Congressional Budget Office projections that health reform’s coverage expansions will cost less than previously estimated.  Dave Chandra highlighted CBPP’s new interactive database to help states design and operate their insurance marketplaces.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Elizabeth McNichol listed five questions for states considering whether to start refilling their “rainy day” reserves.
  • On the safety net, Becca Segal explained that next month’s expansion of “community eligibility” will help alleviate hunger in thousands of high-poverty schools.  Chad Stone noted that the number of jobless workers affected by policymakers’ failure to restore emergency federal unemployment benefits continues to grow.

In other news, we issued papers on when and how states should strengthen their rainy day funds and why the lone group taxed into poverty should receive a larger EITC.  We updated our guide to statistics on historical trends in income inequality and our papers explaining that federal income taxes on middle-income families remain near historic lows and that the EITC promotes work and encourages children’s success at school.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week:

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

Ryan budget represents the height of irresponsibility
The New Journal & Guide
April 16, 2014

7 Facts About Our Broken Tax System
The Nation
April 16, 2014

It’s Time to Strengthen the EITC to Give Childless Workers a Much-Needed Boost
National Journal
April 15, 2014

CBO: Health Reform Is Working — and Costing Less
Huffington Post
April 15, 2014

Where your tax dollars go, in one chart
Vox
April 14, 2014

In Case You Missed It…

April 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, the federal budget and taxes, Tax Day (April 15), health care, the safety net, and full employment.

  • On the Ryan budget, we featured a comprehensive roundup of CBPP analysis on the budget.  Richard Kogan illustrated that the Ryan budget gets 69 percent of its cuts from low-income programs.  Robert Greenstein rebutted Chairman Ryan’s criticism of our 69 percent figure and debunked Ryan’s attempt to deny that his budget deeply cuts low-income programs.  Dottie Rosenbaum warned that the Ryan budget’s SNAP (food stamp) cuts would affect millions of low-income Americans.  Chad Stone excerpted his US News & World Report post on how the Ryan budget could affect the economy.  Paul Van de Water analyzed Ryan’s Medicare proposals.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Joel Friedman underscored the stark difference between the recent Obama and Ryan budgets on non-defense discretionary funding.  Chuck Marr explained the problems with inadequate regulation of commercial tax preparers and noted recent calls to give the IRS needed authority to oversee all preparers.  Robert Greenstein corrected a misrepresentation in congressional testimony regarding IRS training of tax preparers.  Chye-Ching Huang highlighted a New York Times editorial criticizing the Senate Finance Committee’s vote to reinstate dozens of tax cuts without paying for them.  Chuck Marr pointed out that tying federal unemployment insurance to extending the “bonus depreciation” tax cut would be unwise.
  • On Tax Day, we excerpted our paper on why the Tax Foundation’s annual “Tax Freedom Day” report gives a misleading impression of tax burdens.  We also highlighted several newly updated backgrounders on federal and state taxes and spending:  where our federal tax dollars go, sources of federal revenues, payroll taxes, tax expenditures, and where our state tax dollars go.
  • On health care, Judy Solomon listed three things that people who have yet to enroll in marketplace health coverage should keep in mind.  Edwin Park explained that overpayments to Medicare Advantage insurers help the insurers more than beneficiaries and argued that policymakers should resist calls to roll back health reform’s Medicare Advantage savings.  He also highlighted early data showing a decline in the number of uninsured under health reform.
  • On the safety net, Brynne Keith-Jennings pointed to new data confirming that SNAP caseloads and spending continue to decline.  Will Fischer explained that President Obama’s plan to raise rents on the rural poor is the wrong way to save money.
  • On full employment, we highlighted Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ keynote speech at the launch of CBPP’s and Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein’s year-long project on making full employment a national priority.

In other news, we issued Robert Greenstein’s statement on House passage of the Ryan budget plan.  We issued papers on reducing overpayments in the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicare in Ryan’s 2015 budget, seven myths about Medicaid, Ryan’s budget cuts in programs for people with low or moderate incomes, and the Tax Foundation’s misrepresentation of typical households’ tax burdens.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week:

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

House passes GOP budget plan despite bipartisan opposition
MSNBC
April 10, 2014

How Some Tax Preparers Feed on the Working Poor
Colorlines
April 10, 2014

We Should Be in a Rage
New York Times
April 9, 2014

Paul Ryan’s poor ‘savings’ plan
Washington Post
April 9, 2014

In Case You Missed It…

April 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, health care, the federal budget and taxes, jobs, state budgets and taxes, and our year-long initiative on full employment.

  • On Chairman Ryan’s budget, we excerpted a paper previewing why we expected Ryan’s new budget to be at least as extreme as last year’s.  We pointed to CBPP President Robert Greenstein’s statement on why Ryan’s new “Path to Prosperity” is, sadly, anything but that for most Americans.  Edwin Park noted that Ryan’s efforts to block grant Medicaid would add millions to the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured.  Richard Kogan illustrated that Ryan’s new budget gets 69 percent of its cuts from low-income programs.  Will Fischer explained that Ryan uses a faulty number to argue that Housing Choice Voucher program costs have risen excessively and floats a proposal that could lay the groundwork for deep, harmful cuts in the voucher program.
  • On health care, Jesse Cross-Call highlighted important lessons from New Hampshire’s and Michigan’s Medicaid expansions for states currently debating whether to expand.  Paul Van de Water explained why raising health reform’s threshold for full-time work would be counterproductive.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Chye-Ching Huang excerpted her New York Times “Room for Debate” op-ed, cautioning that policymakers who want to use the tax code to help children should be sure that their policies reach working-poor families.
  • On jobs, Chad Stone noted that the March employment report shows a labor market that continues to improve gradually, but that remains far from healed.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Chris Mai explained that although the news of state tax collections reaching their pre-recession levels is welcome, it’s not cause for celebration.
  • On full employment, we highlighted our kick-off event and year-long project on making full employment a national priority.

In other news, Chad Stone issued a statement on the March employment report and Robert Greenstein issued a statement on Chairman Ryan’s budget plan.  We issued a paper previewing the Ryan budget, and analyses that explain that the Ryan budget would cut Medicaid by more than one-quarter by 2024 and more after that and would slash SNAP (formerly food stamps) by $137 billion over ten years.  We also issued a paper explaining how criticism of Medicaid in Ryan’s recent poverty report misrepresents research literature.  We also updated our backgrounders on where federal revenues come from, where our federal tax dollars go, federal tax expenditures, and federal payroll taxes.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week:

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

The case for another stimulus
MSNBC
April 3, 2014

The Perpetual Bubble Economy
New York Times
April 2, 2014

Raising income requires mix of minimum wage, tax credits
Boston Globe
April 2, 2014

The Calculus of Paul Ryan’s Budget
Andrew Sullivan
April 2, 2014

Long-Term Unemployment Is a Crisis—Here’s How to Solve It
New Republic
April 2, 2014

Think tank: Congress, you fix the economy
Washington Post
April 2, 2014

Ryan’s Path to Austerity
Politico
April 1, 2014

In Case You Missed It…

March 28, 2014 at 4:34 pm

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, the safety net, housing, and state budgets and taxes.

  • On the federal budget and taxes, we excerpted Jared Bernstein’s congressional testimony on the long-term debt.  Chuck Marr praised Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray’s new proposal to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-wage workers not raising minor children.  Paul Van de Water explained why three House bills to change the budget process are ill-advised.
  • On the safety net, we excerpted Sharon Parrott’s commentary on why the EITC, while highly effective, isn’t a substitute for the safety net as a whole.  Arloc Sherman pointed out that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s recent poverty report largely ignored anti-poverty programs’ long-term successes.  Kathy Ruffing explained why Supplemental Security Income, which the Ryan report criticizes, should be strengthened, not cut.
  • On housing, Douglas Rice highlighted a New York Times editorial calling on policymakers to restore vouchers lost due to sequestration.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman listed five reasons why other states shouldn’t follow Kansas’ lead and enact massive tax cuts.

In other news, we issued a paper on lessons for other states from Kansas’ tax cuts, Jared Bernstein’s testimony on the federal debt, and Sharon Parrott’s commentary on why the EITC isn’t a safety net by itself.  We also updated our chart book on the legacy of the Great Recession and our backgrounder on where our state tax dollars go.

CBPP’s Chart of the Week:

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

Kansas Can’t Tax Cut Its Way to Prosperity
US News and World Report
March 27, 2014

Leading Senator Adds to Momentum for Helping Childless Workers
Huffington Post
March 26, 2014

 

In Case You Missed It…

March 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm

This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, unemployment insurance, Social Security, and housing.

  • On the federal budget and taxes, we explained that projected deficits over the next decade have fallen by nearly $5 trillion, mostly due to legislative changes.  William Chen showed that, in recent deficit-reduction legislation, spending cuts outweigh tax increases 3 to 1.  Chuck Marr highlighted an HBO documentary that illustrates the value of working-family tax credits.  He also analyzed Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) tax reform plan and explained why the President’s proposal to raise cigarette taxes is worthy of support.
  • On unemployment insurance, Chad Stone mapped the impact across the country of a recent bipartisan Senate deal to restart federal emergency unemployment benefits.
  • On Social Security, Kathy Ruffing laid out some basic facts regarding Social Security Disability Insurance.
  • On housing, Douglas Rice explained why and how Congress should restore housing vouchers lost last year due to the sequestration budget cuts.

In other news, we issued papers in how higher tobacco taxes can improve health and raise revenue and why projected ten-year deficits have shrunk by nearly $5 trillion. We also updated our report on how strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers would promote work and reduce poverty and our backgrounder on SNAP (formerly food stamps).

CBPP’s Chart of the Week:

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

Lee Tax Reform Plan’s Disappointing Details
Huffington Post
March 20, 2014

How the unemployment benefits deal Boehner rejected would have affected states
Washington Post
March 19, 2014

Housing Subsidies: An Unfair Playing Field
Center for Effective Government
March 18, 2014