The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

New SNAP Rule Would Cost Many of Nation’s Poorest Their Food Aid

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:59am

Today, the Trump Administration issued a draconian rule in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) that will cut off basic food assistance for nearly 700,000 of the nation’s poorest and most destitute people.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Expanding Refundable Tax Credits Would Help Many American Indian and Alaska Native Households, Reduce Poverty

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 9:50am

Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit, as several proposals before Congress would do, could benefit hundreds of thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) families nationwide, our new analysis shows.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 4:03pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health, and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Policymakers Should Ensure Pass-Throughs Pay More of Taxes They Owe

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 12:18pm

High-income taxpayers drive much of the “tax gap” — the gap between what taxpayers owe and what they voluntarily pay on time — finds a new paper from Professor Natasha Sarin and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, citing new IRS data for 2011 to 2013.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Trump Proposal to Lower Poverty Line Draws Broad Opposition

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 11:24am

Now that the Trump Administration has made public the more than 50,000 comments on its proposal to lower the federal poverty line, the breadth of public opposition is now clear.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Deficits and Debt in Contemporary U.S. Fiscal Policy: Updating Our Priors

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 6:35pm

In recent years, U.S. fiscal policy has been historically unusual. Instead of the fiscal consolidation we might expect in the midst of a historically long expansion with the economy closing in on full capacity, our fiscal accounts have grown more unbalanced. I’ve sometimes referred to this phenomenon as “upside-down Keynesianism:” applying fiscal stimulus in a pro-cyclical manner, i.e., to an improving economy, versus the much more traditional counter-cyclical approach.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Bills Aim to Curb Opportunity Zone Abuses

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 2:20pm

Companion bills from Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and House Majority Whip James Clyburn would impose significant, and welcome, new guardrails on investments in “opportunity zones,” or low-income areas designated for special tax breaks.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Portman Proposal for Automatic Continuing Resolution Not a Good Solution for Government Shutdowns

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:50pm

An automatic CR raises significant concerns and would cause serious problems of its own, undermining sound budgeting and diminishing Congress’ role in setting national priorities.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Improper Payment Rates Don’t Measure Ineligible Enrollees, Fraud, or Abuse

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 10:32am

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon release the 2019 Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) rate, which measures “improper” payments in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 4:35pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health, immigration, state budgets and taxes, and food assistance.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Georgia Waivers: At Least as Costly to Cover Far Fewer People Than Medicaid Expansion

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 1:37pm

Under two recent state proposals to waive federal Medicaid and Affordable Care Act rules, Georgia would spend at least as much to extend coverage to about 400,000 fewer people than if it adopted the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. And one waiver would likely cut, rather than increase, coverage.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Why the Federal Government Should Support Puerto Rico’s New EITC

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 4:56pm

Puerto Rico needs a comprehensive economic package that centers around powerful tools such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Ensuring That Massachusetts Corporations Pay Their Fair Share

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 4:30pm

As Massachusetts lawmakers seek to raise revenue to make needed investments in roads, bridges, and public transit, they should abandon plans that rely solely on regressive gas tax and user fee increases in favor of those that also ensure that corporations pay their share to fund these public resources — which, after all, enable corporations to get their products to market and their employees to work.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Much of Wealthiest Households’ Income Escapes Annual Tax or Gets Special Breaks

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 2:47pm

High-income, and especially high-wealth, tax filers enjoy many generous tax benefits that can dramatically lower their tax bills, our new report explains. Eliminating or limiting these preferences would make the tax code more progressive and help offset income inequality. It also would raise significant revenue that could fund key priorities and better enable policymakers to address the nation’s fiscal challenges.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Trump Administration’s ACA Repeal Suit Stance Is in Line With Its Health Care Agenda

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 5:39pm

The lawsuit is another means to the same end the Administration has pursued since inauguration: ACA repeal with no plan for the repercussions.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Taxing High Incomes, Large Fortunes More Effectively

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 5:11pm

Policymakers who seek to raise more revenue from the nation’s wealthiest individuals could, for instance, strengthen the estate tax, raise the top personal income tax rate, end preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends, or impose new taxes on very wealthy households, our new report explains.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Administration’s Public Charge Rules Would Close the Door to U.S. to Immigrants Without Substantial Means

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:03pm

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) have proposed radical changes in immigration rules related to “public charge” determinations.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Commentary: Federal, State Laws Helping Corporations Avoid State Income Taxes

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 12:14pm

When making a purchase at your local big box store, you might assume that the item’s manufacturer will owe tax to your state on its profit from the sale. But there’s a pretty good chance it won’t. And, maybe just as important, you have no way to find out.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty


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