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Commentary: GOP Tax Framework Looks Much Like Kansas’ Failed Tax Cut Package

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:25:43 +0000

Many policymakers in Washington are proposing costly, regressive federal tax cuts that have a great deal in common with the tax cuts that performed so poorly in Kansas.




Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Increase Homelessness and Hardship

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:28:14 +0000

Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.  Most individuals and families would lose more from the program cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.  




Eliminating State and Local Tax Deduction to Pay for Tax Cuts for Wealthy a Bad Deal for Most Americans

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:07:05 +0000

Eliminating the SALT deduction would a bad deal for most Americans, especially low- and middle-income people.




A $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Could Trigger Entitlement Cuts This Year – or Later

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:55:56 +0000

As the Senate continues debating a budget plan that paves the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over ten years, the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) law remains on the books, with potentially big implications for key budget programs.  Under PAYGO, which policymakers first enacted in 1990 and, after it expired, restored in 2010, the President and Congress must offset a tax cut or entitlement expansion with a compensating tax increase or entitlement cut.  A failure to do so triggers automatic spending cuts.




Roundup: Analyzing the Senate Budget Resolution

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:35:53 +0000

The Senate is expected to vote this week on its fiscal year 2018 budget resolution. Broadly, the budget:




Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Leave Most Children Worse Off

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:42:42 +0000

Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.  Most children and their families would lose more from the program cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.    




Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Threaten Food Assistance Through SNAP

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:33:57 +0000

Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts, including SNAP (formerly food stamps), mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.  Most children and their families would lose more from the program cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.   




Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Harm Students and Schools

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:29:00 +0000

Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.  Schoolchildren, parents, college students, and others with a stake in education would end up bearing part of the cost.




Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Hurt People with Disabilities

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:21:56 +0000

Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.  People with disabilities would lose more from the program cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.    




Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Leave Most Elderly People Worse Off

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:01:02 +0000

Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.  Most of the elderly would lose more from the program cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.   




Senate Budget Plan Threatens Health Programs

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:58:11 +0000

Congressional Republicans remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and overhauling and cutting Medicaid. The Senate’s 2018 budget resolution reflects those objectives, calling for about $1.3 trillion in cuts to ACA subsidies and Medicaid and for “repealing or replacing the [ACA].”




Greenstein: Alexander-Murray Agreement an Important Step Toward Bipartisanship on Health Care

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:38:41 +0000

The agreement that Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray announced represents an important step toward bipartisan action on health care and away from damaging attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), radically overhaul and cut Medicaid, and take coverage away from tens of millions of people.




With House Passage, Senate Now Must Pass Critical Food Assistance for Puerto Rico

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:34:45 +0000

The House has passed a $36.5 billion aid package that includes critical funding for additional food assistance for needy households affected by hurricanes, including in Puerto Rico. Given reports of food shortages and other hardship on the island, the Senate should now move swiftly to pass legislation that includes this disaster food assistance.




In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:20:35 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on federal taxes, health, housing, family income support, and poverty and inequality.




Policymakers Should Expand and Strengthen HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:42:07 +0000

Congress may soon consider bills to improve and expand the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program for low-income families that get rental assistance. Senators Roy Blunt, Jack Reed, Tim Scott, and Bob Menendez introduced the Family Self-Sufficiency Act, which would make a recent FSS expansion permanent and improve program efficiency, and Rep.







Trump Order Could Destabilize Health Insurance Markets, Hurt Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:06:29 +0000

President Trump’s new executive order could destabilize the health insurance markets where millions of individuals and small businesses get their coverage and undermine protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.




Cohn’s Faulty Excuse for Opposing Child Tax Credit Boost for Poor Working Families

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:56:02 +0000

The Republican tax framework raises the Child Tax Credit (CTC) but the increase is non-refundable, meaning only families with high enough incomes to owe federal income taxes would benefit — leaving out millions of low-income working families with children.




Brown-Khanna Proposal to Expand EITC Would Raise Incomes of 47 Million Working Households

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 14:45:12 +0000

A proposal to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit would advance what should be a leading tax-reform goal — increasing the incomes of low- and moderate-income workers.




In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 20:48:08 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health, state budgets and taxes, poverty and inequality, Social Security, food assistance, and the economy.




Similarities Among Senate, House, and Trump Budget Plans Outweigh Their Differences

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 18:24:13 +0000

Though differing in detail, the three plans are broadly similar.




Misguided Child Tax Credit Measure Would Hurt 1 Million Low-Income Children

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 18:05:54 +0000

Proponents say it's an anti-abuse measure.  In fact, it’s a significant roll-back in eligibility for the tax credit.




Funding Bills Would Hurt Social Security Customer Service

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:18:02 +0000

The full House and the Senate Appropriations Committee have passed woefully inadequate funding plans for operating the Social Security Administration (SSA), which would substantially weaken customer service, hurting seniors and people with disabilities and hampering SSA’s ability to pay benefits promptly and accurately, as our




4 Steps to Building Thriving State Economies

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 18:35:18 +0000

Everyone in America — regardless of where they were born, the state where they live, the color of their skin, or the size of their bank account — should have the opportunity to achieve their goals. But ensuring broad opportunity and prosperity won’t happen by chance. Smart state fiscal policies play a critical role.




Why House Bill’s Medicaid Funding for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands Falls Way Short

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 18:05:50 +0000

The additional federal Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the HEALTHY KIDS Act — which the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed on a party-line vote yesterday to continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — fall well short of what those U.S.




Medicaid Expansion Essential to Address Opioid Epidemic

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 17:51:38 +0000

Some Affordable Care Act (ACA) critics claim that its Medicaid expansion is fueling the opioid epidemic by giving Medicaid beneficiaries access to prescription opioid medications, but they’ve got it backwards. In reality, the Medicaid expansion has provided a critical lifeline for people with substance use disorders.




Medicaid Expansion Is Critical for States Fighting Opioid Epidemic

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:17:55 +0000

As the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee meets tomorrow on the federal response to the opioid epidemic, it should consider the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion is providing essential mental health and substance use disorder treatment.




Trump Administration Undermining Community Efforts to Help Marketplace Consumers

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:08:00 +0000

Trump Administration actions will leave far fewer Americans with access to trained enrollment assisters, or “navigators,” during the six-week open enrollment period for health insurance marketplace coverage that begins November 1.  Navigators help people select plans that meet their needs, apply for subsidies to lower their premiums, and deal with other issues.  As a result, fewer people will likely enroll in coverage for 2018 and get needed medical care.




USDA Lets Puerto Ricans Buy Hot Meals With Food Benefits

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 17:36:10 +0000

Some media have reported — incorrectly — that the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) denied Puerto Rico’s request to let recipients of the territory’s main food assistance program use their benefits to buy hot, ready-to-eat foods, which program rules don’t typically allow. We’d like to correct the record.




5 Key Points About the Budget Before the House This Week

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 15:37:23 +0000

This week, the full House is planning to consider the 2018 budget plan that the House Budget Committee approved in July. Here are five key points about the plan.




Vast Majority of Americans Would Likely Lose From Senate GOP’s $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts, Once They’re Paid For

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 14:13:20 +0000

Sooner or later, the cost will need to be offset through some combination of spending cuts and tax increases.




Commentary: Republican Tax and Budget Agenda Would Leave Most Low- and Middle-Income Children Worse Off

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 13:57:03 +0000

By increasing deficits and debt, the tax cuts would intensify pressure, likely in the next several years, for steep budget cuts in programs that help low- and middle-income families.




Shortening Marketplace Grace Period Would Boost Number of Uninsured

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 13:43:43 +0000

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up legislation today to extend funding for community health centers and other public health programs — but with harmful funding offsets that jeopardize insurance coverage for low- and moderate-income people who fall behind on payments.




Child Poverty Falls to Record Low, Comprehensive Measure Shows Stronger Government Policies Account for Long-Term Improvement

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 01:13:48 +0000

The child poverty rate fell to a record low of 15.6 percent in 2016




Assessing the New House Republican CHIP Bill

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 21:31:08 +0000

The bill includes sound CHIP funding provisions; however, the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands provisions fall well short of the assistance needed, and the provisions to offset the cost of the bill raise substantial concerns.




Don’t Repeal IPAB

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 21:24:33 +0000

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up legislation tomorrow to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a presidentially appointed commission charged with developing ways to slow the growth of Medicare spending.

Despite the claims of its critics, repealing IPAB would be unwise, as we’ve explained. Here’s why:




Proposed Senate Budget Is Likely to Leave Millions of Americans Worse Off

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 21:02:38 +0000

The Senate Budget Committee will consider this week a 2018 budget resolution that will facilitate $1.5 trillion of deficit-increasing tax cuts, likely benefiting those who are most well-off.




In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 20:40:52 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health care, food assistance, the economy, poverty and inequality, and Social Security.




Verifying Incomes of All EITC Filers Would Delay Refunds, Raise Costs, Divert IRS Resources from More Effective Uses

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:59:03 +0000

The fiscal year 2018 budget plan that the House Budget Committee approved in July calls for a major change in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that could adversely affect millions of low-income working families and cause serious problems for the IRS in processing tax returns.  The budget would delay EITC payments each year until the IRS verifies every EITC filer’s income.[1]  This would entail the IRS corroborating the income information for 28 million tax returns each year, a massive undertaking that likely would req




Greenstein: Senate GOP Budget’s Regressive Tax Cuts Would Swell Deficits, Likely Lead to Budget Cuts Hitting Most Americans

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:40:35 +0000

Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi’s 2018 budget resolution would grease the legislative wheels for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that are very heavily skewed toward the most well-off.




Don’t Underfund the Census, AEI and CBPP Researchers Agree

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:12:25 +0000

The American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Biggs and I are together urging Congress to adequately fund the Census Bureau as it prepares for the 2020 census.




Trump Budget Gets Two-Thirds of Its Cuts From Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income People

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:33:19 +0000

The budget slashes these programs by an unprecedented $2.5 trillion.




Marketplace Enrollees in Medicaid Expansion States Would Likely Lose Under GOP Health Plan

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:46:29 +0000

The bill from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would harm all states, but especially those that expanded Medicaid under the ACA. While Senate Republicans cancelled this week’s planned vote on the bill, they’ve signaled an interest in resurrecting it.




Ornstein on SNAP: A Model of How to Make Legislation

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 18:19:51 +0000

In an op-ed in The Atlantic today, columnist and American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Norm Ornstein looks back 40 years to the 1977 Food Stamp Act that established the modern framework of the food stamp program, now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Ornstein notes that:




SSI Doesn’t Explain Decline in Labor-Force Participation, Either

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:20:48 +0000

We recently explained why it’s wrong to blame Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) — which pays modest benefits to workers under age 66 who’ve experienced a severe, career-ending medical impairment — for recent declines in labor-force participation (the share of adults 16 and older who are working or looking for work).




Republican Leaders’ Tax Framework Provides Windfall to High-Income Households, With Working Families Largely an Afterthought

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 21:29:28 +0000

The top 1 percent of households would get roughly 50 percent of the framework’s net tax cuts, and the top 0.1 percent would get roughly 30 percent.




“EMPOWERS” Bill Opens Door to Radical SNAP Changes That Would Put Benefits for 
Low-Income Households at Risk

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 21:04:59 +0000

Senator Joni Ernst has introduced a bill — the EMPOWERS Act (S. 1427) — to grant sweeping authority to the Executive Branch to waive, at a governor’s request, most provisions of federal law related to a range of low-income and other domestic programs.  This extensive new waiver authority would open the door to radical changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).  SNAP would no longer remain a program with a national benefit structure designed to target food assistance to needy households. 




TANF Ill-Equipped to Respond to Recent Hurricanes

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 20:02:44 +0000

We’ve explained that SNAP (formerly food stamps) has design features that enable it to respond rapidly and effectively to disasters, such as the recent hurricanes. No such comparable features are part of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a program designed to help struggling families cover their basic needs. Under its block grant structure, states don’t get additional TANF funds to provide extra support to struggling families when disaster strikes.




“Superwaiver” Bill Threatens Key Low-Income Programs

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 19:59:25 +0000

While wrapped in language of poverty reduction and program integration, this bill and other similar proposals would facilitate the unraveling of major federal programs that help low-income people meet basic needs. 




SNAP Designed to Respond Effectively, Quickly to Disaster

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 19:55:56 +0000

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to work with states to rapidly and effectively provide food to those affected by recent hurricanes, it’s worth exploring the three key design features of SNAP (formerly food stamps) that make its effective disaster response possible: