Research Roundup 5/4: What Business Climate Rankings Really Tell Us, The State of Preschool 2012, Federal Spending in Your State, and More

Grading Places: What Do the Business Climate Rankings Really Tell Us? [Good Jobs First]
"Prominent studies that purport to measure and rank the states’ “business climates” are actually politicized grab-bags of data. They contradict each other wildly, have no predictive value, and should not be used to inform public policies. This is only the third such analysis of pseudo-social science 'business climatology' in 27 years."

The State of Preschool 2012 [National Institute for Early Education Research]
"Twenty-eight percent of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded preschool program in the 2011-2012 school year, the same percentage as the year before. This stagnation in enrollment growth was compounded by an unprecedented funding drop of $500 million nationwide. The findings in this Yearbook raise serious concerns on the quality and availability of pre-K education for most of American young learners."

Federal Spending in Your State, 2012-2014 [National Priorities Project]
"Each year, as part of the president’s budget request, the White House Office of Management and Budget releases projected spending on grants to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This is a reminder of the impact of federal spending on state budgets as well as on state residents, who receive assistance through programs funded by federal grants."

State-by-State Figures on Obama's Proposal to Limit Tax Expenditures [Citizens for Tax Justice]
"President Obama has proposed to limit the tax savings for high-income taxpayers from itemized deductions and certain other deductions and exclusions to 28 cents for each dollar deducted or excluded. This proposal would raise more than half a trillion dollars in revenue over the up­coming decade. Despite this large revenue gain, only 3.6 percent of Americans would receive a tax increase under the plan in 2014, and their average tax increase would equal just less than one percent of their income."

"Fix the Debt" CEOs Enjoy Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay [Institute for Policy Studies and Campaign for America's Future]
"Thanks to a 'performance pay' tax loophole, large corporations in the United States today are routinely deducting enormous executive payouts from their income taxes. In effect, these companies are exploiting the U.S. tax code to send taxpayers the bill for the huge rewards they’re doling out to their top executives. During the three-year period 2009-2011, the 90 publicly held corporate members of the austerity-focused “Fix the Debt” lobby group shoveled out $6.3 billion in pay to their CEOs and next three highest-paid executives. These 90 Fix the Debt member firms raked in at least $953 million -- and as much as $1.6 billion -- from the “performance pay” loophole between 2009-2011."

Oregon Medicaid Study Strengthens -- Not Weakens -- Case to Expand Medicaid [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
"The New England Journal of Medicine reported encouraging new findings yesterday from the Oregon Health Study, a landmark, ongoing study of the state’s Medicaid program.  Medicaid beneficiaries were more likely than the uninsured to access preventive care, such as mammograms for women, and they had far less financial hardship caused by health care spending.  In fact, Medicaid coverage 'almost completely eliminated catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenditures.'"

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(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Read the full Dispatch here or Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)