Talking Social Security at Noon today on TPC’s webcast The Prescription. Our guest will be economist Mikki Waid, who studied the program for AARP, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Congressional Research Service. She’ll discuss how Congress could address the program’s fiscal health in hyper-partisan times. .. Register and tune in here.
How could new tax revenues ease Medicare’s substantial financial pressures? And how would those tax hikes affect federal revenues and the distribution of tax burdens across income groups? A new joint report from TPC and the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center examines the pros and cons of 12 tax increases, including higher payroll taxes, raising the individual income tax, and taxing employer-sponsored health insurance for some workers. As always, policymakers must weigh tradeoffs between simplicity, equity, and efficiency.
As expected, the Fed raised rates again. The Federal Reserve increased interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point yesterday. The central bank said it will continue to raise rates as long as necessary to bring inflation down to acceptable levels.
No Senate budget resolution. New Budget Committee Chair Sheldon Whitehouse says the chamber may not bother to pass a framework this year. “We’re never going to get a budget resolution passed through the House that we agree with,” he told Politico. President Biden will put out his fiscal plan on March 9.
Should local news organizations get tax breaks? Tax breaks for struggling local newspapers may seem like a reasonable way to support a struggling industry. But TPC’s Tax Hound wonders, “is it good for democracy and its free press if local newspapers and journalists receive financial assistance from the government they are mission-bound to cover independently?”
Owning the libs…at the stove. Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing to exempt gas stoves from sales tax. “No tax permanently,” he said. “They want your gas stove and we’re not going to let that happen.” Thing is: Only about 8 percent of stoves in Florida are gas, tied with Maine for the lowest share in the nation. “It's the principle,” acknowledged DeSantis.
How did the UK and US differ in handling the economic storm brought by Covid-19? A new TPC report compares their responses. The UK generally kept people more connected to the workforce and expedited returns to work. In contrast, the US often focused policies on those who left the workforce, which disrupted health insurance coverage. Conditioning aid on employment left some households exposed to economic harms unrelated to job loss. US supports that were not linked to employment status, such as the expanded Child Tax Credit, had a powerful effect on reducing poverty among children and other vulnerable populations.
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