This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, the economy, state budgets, safety-net and entitlement programs, and health care.
- On the federal budget and taxes, James Horney showed that a Senate proposal to cancel the spending cuts scheduled for 2013 would expand the cuts in later years.Paul Van de Water explained that House proposals to cap federal spending would disproportionately hurt low-income people and have other harmful impacts.
We also featured a video of Jared Bernstein and Richard Kogan discussing the national debt.
- On the economy, Hannah Shaw explained that policymakers aren’t adequately supporting job training and education programs for unemployed workers, and we excerpted Jared Bernstein’s Senate Budget Committee testimony on the causes and policy implications of rising income inequality.
- On state budgets, Nicholas Johnson outlined some dos and don’ts to improve state economies and highlighted a report debunking the claim that state income taxes impede growth.Phil Oliff warned that lagging state funding has driven up the cost of public colleges.
- On safety-net and entitlement programs, Bob Greenstein discussed some holes in the safety net that need repair. Chad Stone explained that the expansion of safety-net programs during the Great Recession shows that they worked as intended.Arloc Sherman corrected the misconception that entitlement programs are creating a dependent class of Americans who would rather collect government benefits than work by showing that the vast majority of benefits go to the elderly, disabled, or members of working families.
- On health care, Sarah Lueck cautioned that an Administration proposal would give insurance companies too much leeway to set benefits under health reform.
In other news, we released an analysis of who receives benefits from federal entitlement programs, reports on proposed House spending-cap bills and ways that states can strengthen their fiscal policies, and Jared Bernstein’s testimony before the Senate Budget Committee on assessing inequality, mobility, and opportunity.