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In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:44:40 +0000

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

After Budget Deal, Policymakers Should Boost 2018 Funding for the 2020 Census

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:33:50 +0000

With President Trump and Congress boosting overall non-defense discretionary funding for 2018 and 2019, they now must use some of these funds for the fast-approaching 2020 census. The President’s latest request for 2018 funding for the census moves in the right direction but remains below what outside experts believe is needed to ensure an accurate census count, and it omits funds for contingencies that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has recommended. The President's 2019 request also falls well below what the Commerce Department projects is needed.

Welfare to Work Project in Trump Budget Would Unravel Major Federal Programs

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:25:35 +0000

The “Welfare to Work Projects” proposal in President Trump’s budget would facilitate the unraveling of major federal programs that help low- and moderate-income people meet basic needs. It appears to let states and localities undertake a large-scale redesign of an unnamed number of basic assistance programs, with apparently few protections for individuals who need the assistance these programs provide to make ends meet.

Health Proposals in President’s Budget Would Reduce Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:49:59 +0000

The health policies in the President's fiscal year 2019 budget are a continuation of the Administration's health care agenda of the past year. Throughout 2017, the President pressed Congress to enact legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and making deep cuts to Medicaid. Meanwhile, the Administration is using waivers and regulatory changes to implement (and allow states to implement) policies that make it harder for eligible people to get health coverage and care. The budget doubles down in both of these areas.

IRS Must Now Be a Top Funding Priority

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:02:34 +0000

Now that President Trump and congressional leaders have raised annual spending caps for defense and non-defense discretionary programs for 2018 and 2019, policymakers should make additional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding a top priority. The recent tax bill poses a once-in-a-generation, multi-dimensional challenge for the IRS, and the President and Congress must give the IRS the funds to implement it successfully.

Kansas Should Reject Call for Constitutional Convention

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:57:35 +0000

Chair Estes and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony on Senate Concurrent Resolution 1611.

My name is Michael Leachman. I am the research director for the State Fiscal Project at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. We are a research institute that helps states make prudent fiscal policy decisions that build broad prosperity.

President's Budget Would Cut Food Assistance for Millions and Radically Restructure SNAP

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:14:18 +0000

President Trump’s 2019 budget proposes to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by more than $213 billion over the next ten years — nearly a 30 percent cut.

Trump Plan to Cut Federal Infrastructure Funding Puts Needed Improvements at Risk

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:06:05 +0000

President Trump’s infrastructure plan is a disappointment to states and localities looking for significant help from the federal government to address the country’s crumbling infrastructure. As my colleague Jacob Leibenluft explained, the plan is a mirage that would cut federal support for infrastructure over the long term and shift costs to states and localities.

States Can’t Afford Trump Budget’s Massive Cost Shift

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:23:16 +0000

President Trump’s 2019 budget would shift massive new costs to states and localities at a time when many states are already struggling to meet the needs of residents and businesses. It:

Budget Deal Gives Policymakers Another Chance to Fund Social Security Technology Improvements

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:17:40 +0000

Now that Congress has agreed to raise the caps on discretionary spending in 2018 and 2019, policymakers have another chance to adequately fund technology upgrades that would improve the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) payment accuracy and prevent fraud.

Budget Agreement Funding Could Reduce Social Security Disability Backlog

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:10:07 +0000

The bipartisan agreement to raise the caps on discretionary spending in 2018 and 2019 reportedly calls for higher funding for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) operating budget, which is starved for resources after years of cuts, to improve customer service.

Trump 2019 Budget Roundup

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 20:02:23 +0000

Here are the CBPP posts and papers to date on President Trump’s 2019 budget; we’ll update this list as we issue more analyses:

Trump Budget Would Cut Non-Defense Programs Deeply in 2019 and Beyond

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 18:18:30 +0000

Under the Trump plan, regular non-defense appropriations would fall from year to year in each of the next ten years, leaving funding substantially below the levels agreed to in the recent bipartisan budget agreement.

Trump Budget Deeply Cuts Health, Housing, Other Assistance for Low- and Moderate-Income Families

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:49:46 +0000

Taken together, the cuts are far deeper than any ever enacted and would deepen poverty and hardship and swell the ranks of the uninsured.

Kentucky’s Waiver Will Increase Uncompensated Care for Hospitals, Safety Net Providers

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:03:03 +0000

Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently approved, jeopardizes not just coverage for hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries but also the finances of hospitals and other safety net providers.

Trump “$1.5 Trillion” Infrastructure Plan Is a Mirage

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 22:49:12 +0000

Administration officials claim that the President’s new infrastructure plan will support $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment, but his 2019 budget reveals that that number’s a mirage: the President would cut annual federal support for infrastructure in the long run and shift costs to states, cities, and private individuals.

President’s Budget Would Cut and Radically Restructure SNAP Food Benefits

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 22:16:40 +0000

President Trump’s 2019 budget proposes to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by more than $213 billion over the next ten years — or by nearly 30 percent. It calls for radically restructuring the delivery of benefits, which would cut benefits for the overwhelming majority of households, and other benefit and eligibility changes that would leave at least 4 million people losing SNAP benefits altogether.

Trump 2019 Budget Slashes Aid for Families Struggling to Pay Rent

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 21:39:02 +0000

At a time when a historically high number of low-income households are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet, President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposes the most radical retrenchment of federal aid for such families since the U.S. Housing Act was first enacted in 1937.

Greenstein: Trump Budget Offers Stark Vision

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:32:00 +0000

Congress likely won’t enact many of the budget’s specific proposals in 2018.  But the budget shows what the President intends to seek if his party retains control of the House in November and picks up a seat or two in the Senate.

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 20:43:39 +0000

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

Economic Security, Health Programs Reduce Poverty and Hardship, With Long-Term Benefits

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 19:13:50 +0000

In his 2018 budget, President Trump called for unprecedented cuts in programs for low- and moderate-income families. With the President set to release his 2019 budget on Monday, lawmakers need to keep this in mind: today’s economic security programs keep tens of millions of Americans above the poverty line and have positive longer-term effects on children, helping them do better (and go further) in school and lift their earning power as adults. These four graphs give some facts about how these programs help millions of Americans live healthier, more secure lives:

Five Things to Look for in President Trump’s 2019 HUD Budget

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:52:25 +0000

When President Trump releases his 2019 budget on Monday, we should assess his proposed funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the extent to which it would expand or cut rental assistance to low-income individuals and families. We’ll be asking whether the budget:

Some Consumers Still Have Time to Select a 2018 Health Insurance Plan

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:41:12 +0000

The open enrollment period to sign up for individual health insurance in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces is over, but many of those enrolled in 2017 still have time to enroll for 2018. Consumers who were enrolled at the end of 2017 and couldn’t stay in their plans in 2018 due to plan cancellation are eligible for a special enrollment period lasting until March 1.

Trump Rent Plan Would Squeeze Low-Wage Workers, Others Struggling to Afford Housing

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 02:38:15 +0000

Update, February 13: We’ve updated this post to reflect information in the President’s budget, released February 12.

Five Things to Look for in the President's New Budget

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 22:32:39 +0000

President Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget will be the first articulation of his budget priorities since enactment of the new tax law.

Low-Income Mandatory Programs Not to Blame for Long-Term Deficit Problem

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 21:57:07 +0000

Last year the Trump Administration justified sweeping cuts to low-income mandatory programs — programs funded outside the annual appropriations process — by pointing to future deficits.  But these programs are not driving the nation’s long-term fiscal problem.

Policymakers Should Craft Reinsurance Proposals to Lower Premiums, Help More People

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 20:28:24 +0000

The idea of reimbursing health insurers for some costs associated with their highest-cost enrollees, known as reinsurance, is gaining traction as policymakers seek ways to make states’ individual insurance markets more stable and reduce premiums. But some federal reinsurance proposals are likelier than others to reduce premiums, and reinsurance alone won’t help individual market consumers who qualify for subsidized coverage.

Reinsurance defrays insurers’ costs and reduces their risk, so insurers can reduce overall premiums compared to what they’d otherwise charge.

Helping Young Children Move out of Poverty by Creating a New Type of Rental Voucher

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 19:04:48 +0000

This paper is presented as a part of the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty. Read the full paper on their website here.

Download this Paper

Medicaid Works for Vulnerable Communities

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 16:22:56 +0000

The Trump Administration has started letting states make counterproductive work requirements a condition of Medicaid eligibility, and it’s expected to approve Indiana’s request today to impose such requirements in its Medicaid program.

SNAP Linked to Better Health Throughout Life, Benefits for All Age Groups

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 19:09:49 +0000

We’ve discussed why food insecurity (lack of access to sufficient food) is linked to poor health and higher health costs — and how SNAP (formerly food stamps) reduces food insecurity and therefore may provide a path to better health.

Time for States to Invest in Schools

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:17:49 +0000

State cuts in K-12 education funding over the past decade, which we’ve detailed, have affected more than schools’ operating budgets for teacher salaries, textbooks, and so on. Capital spending — to, for example, build new schools, renovate and expand facilities, and equip schools with more modern technologies — also fell sharply in most states.

Olivier Blanchard provides a brief reaction to "Real-Time Estimates of Potential GDP," by Coibion, Gorodnichenko, and Ulate

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 20:23:30 +0000

The basic point of the note by Coibion et al is an extremely important one. Current methods of estimation of potential output do not distinguish between different sources of shocks behind output fluctuations. This is clearest with HP filters, which basically adjust estimated potential output slowly down if output has been weak for a while, or the natural rate of unemployment slowly up if the unemployment rate has been high for a while.

Real-Time Estimates of Potential GDP: Should the Fed Really Be Hitting the Brakes?

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 16:52:58 +0000


Three Key Questions About the Trump Infrastructure Plan

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 22:01:31 +0000

Several questions should be considered in evaluating a potential infrastructure plan.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 17:26:26 +0000

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable Americans: low-income aged, blind, or disabled individuals who either aren’t eligible for Social Security or whose benefits are too low to provide a subsistence income. More than 8 million people — including 1.2 million children with disabilities — rely on SSI to meet their basic needs. Monthly benefits average just $541. The Social Security Administration runs SSI.

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 20:36:03 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health, food assistance, family income support, and the economy.

EITC Awareness Day: Help More Workers Take the Credit

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 18:45:20 +0000

About 1 out of every 5 eligible Americans doesn’t claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a tax benefit worth an average of $2,470. What if, to get that money, they simply needed to file their taxes?