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Research Roundup: Analysing Revenue Proposals in Obama's Jobs Bill, "Right-to-Work" Not the Answer, Potential Cuts to Health Care and More

In this week’s Research Roundup: Resources from the Economic Policy Institute on how “right-to-work” is the wrong answer for Michigan’s economy, PHI PolicyWorks on state-by-state profiles of the fast-growing direct-care workforce, Citizens for Tax Justice on the revenue provisions in President Obama’s jobs bill, Families USA on potential cuts to health care emerging from the deficit reduction debate in Congress, the National Employment Law Center on further cuts to unemployment insurance in Michigan, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research on the effect of temporary tax cuts as economic stimulus.

‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy — The Economic Policy Institute released this analysis highlighting how so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) restrictions on the ability of employers and unions to negotiate do not boost job growth in states where they have become law, but rather lower wages and reduce benefits for union and non-union workers alike. The paper warns Michigan not to go down this economically destructive route, noting how RTW laws have no impact on the performance of state economies, citing the fact that “7 of the 10 highest-unemployment states are states with RTW laws.” The author, political economist Gordon Lafer, notes that Michigan’s proposed RTW law could have a significantly negative effect on Michigan’s economy.

PHI State Data CenterPHI PolicyWorks has published this website, the “first web-based tool to provide comprehensive, state-by-state profiles of the direct-care workforce” — including nursing aides, home health aides, and personal care aides — which is the largest and fastest-growing workforce in the nation. The State Data Center allows users to access information for monitoring key vital signs of their direct-care workforces, including size and projected employment growth, trends in wages for each direct-care occupation, information on health insurance coverage rates and reliance on public assistance, and legislative developments, notable initiatives, best practices, and state-specific resources related to states’ direct-care workforces.

Revenue Provisions in the President's Jobs Bill— This brief by Citizens for Tax Justice closely examines the revenue provisions in the American Jobs Act, highlighting how “the vast majority of the revenue would be raised by the provision to limit the value of tax deductions and exclusions for high-income people” — with tax reforms targeting those who have not paid their fair share, including the wealthy, investment fund managers, and oil and gas companies.

A Message to Congress and the Super Committee: “Don’t Just Cut Programs — Raise Revenues” — This release from Families USA highlights the need to include increased revenues as the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called Congressional Supercommitee) begins their discussions considering cuts to health care. The two specific messages communicated in the brief are that Medicaid must not be cut, and that “at least half of [the commtitee’s] deficit reduction must come from steps to increase revenue.”

Coming Back for More: Michigan Lawmakers Aim to Cut Unemployment Insurance for Second Time in Six Months — This report from the National Employment Law Project warns against further devastating cuts to unemployment insurance (UI) in Michigan, noting the potential dismantlement of the state’s UI system that could result. The piece goes into detail about proposals being floated that could “further erode UI benefits by altering the formula used to determine weekly benefit amounts and by preventing other unemployed workers from receiving benefits.”

Do Tax Cuts Boost the Economy? — This brief authored by David Rosnick and Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research examines the effect of temporary tax cuts as economic stimulus. Countering an analysis by Stanford Economics Professor John Taylor, an Under Secretary of the Treasury under President Bush, the authors conclude that the uncertain effects of such tax cuts “points to the importance of domestic government expenditures as stimulus.”