Economic and Revenue Crisis in the States, Rising Wage and Income Inequality, Health Reform and More

Economic and Revenue Crisis in the States

  • New Fiscal Year Brings More Grief for State Budgets, Putting Economic Recovery at Risk - The states’ cumulative budget shortfall will likely reach $140 billion in the coming year, according to this report by the Center on Budget Policy Priorities.  Without additional federal aid, states will make even deeper spending cuts and more tax increases than previously planned, raising the risk that the nation will fall back into recession as the loss of Americans’ spending power ripples through the economy.
  • Today’s Unemployment Crisis by the Numbers - There are currently nearly 15 million Americans unemployed and nearly half of those unemployed (46 percent) have been out of work and actively seeking a job for at least six months, a post-World War II record high, according to this memo by the Center for American Progress and the National Employment Law Project.  Explaining how the unemployment system works, the numbers of workers involved, and how renewal boosts the economy, the report emphasizes why it is crucial for Congress to renew the unemployment benefits it allowed to expire in early June.

Rising Wage and Income Inequality

  • Another Day, One Less Dollar  - This new analysis of wage trends for high school and college graduates by the Economic Policy Institute shows that wages have stagnated since the year 2000.  Inflation-adjusted wages for workers holding a bachelor's degree but no advanced degree were $1,030 per week in 2000 and declined slightly to $1,025 per week in 2009.  The problem predated the current recession and it will likely be many years before college graduates - or any workers - see substantial wage growth.
  • Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show — Analyzing new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data, this report by the Center on Budget Policy Priorities finds that between 1979 and 2007, the average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation — an increase in income of $973,100 per household.  If that growth in income had been shared more broadly, the median after-tax household income would now be $68,342—or an extra $13,000 per year.  The report looks at trends in inequality, including how the Bush era tax cuts exacerbated income gaps.

How Health Reform Saves Consumers and Taxpayers Money: The Affordable Care Act Lowers Costs and Improves Quality  - The new health reform links a commitment to coverage with a commitment and a strategy to contain health care costs, which is detailed in this report by the Center for American Progress.  It details how it will reduce administrative costs for small businesses and individuals and modernize our health care payment and delivery system to reduce health care spending.

Texas Textbooks: What happened, what it means, and what we can do about it — This People for the American Way report details how religious Right leaders in Texas have been waging war against science and history for the past few decades, with a primary target and battleground over the statewide approval process for public school textbooks.  It details how it happened, what it means and what people are doing about it.