With last week’s speedy fix of the air traffic controllers’ sequester cuts, it’s a wonder people complain about gridlock in Washington! The bill, which allows the Department of Transportation to move money around the department to offset furloughs, passed by a landslide in the House, unanimously in the Senate and is expected to seamlessly work its way through the White House. While the fast passage of a needed alternative to at least a portion of sequestration is welcome, this bill sets a dangerous—and infeasible—precedent for future budget discussions.
This week the Senate Agriculture Committee is marking up the Farm Bill. Translation: A group of 20 senators is sitting around a fancy table working their way, line-by-line, through over 1,000 pages of a bill that will govern nearly all farm-related and food policy both domestically and internationally for the next 5 years. And you thought your schedule for this week looked rough!
For many people the end of April means a nice surprise check waiting in the mailbox, a little bonus refund from the IRS. But for millions of American families, that check includes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a vital boost that lifts approximately 6 million people out of poverty and into the middle class. That means that this refundable credit is the largest anti-poverty program in the country—not welfare, not homeless shelters and not volunteer soup kitchens.
April 15 is perhaps one of the biggest deadlines in the country. The dreaded Tax Day. (Cue “Jaws” theme song). You know a lot of money is being unceremoniously ripped from your paycheck, but where exactly is it going? Sure, it goes to firefighters and police and public school teachers. But really, where exactly is it going and how much?
As the House and the Senate release and mark up their budgets this week, there’s a lot of jargon being tossed around. You may have heard that the House-proposed budget include “block grants” for SNAP and Medicaid. What does that mean – and why should Jews care?