Senate Tax Plan Incenses Anti-Poverty Advocates

November 28, 2017. According to this article, the Congressional Budget Office report, released Sunday, finds that the Senate tax overhaul bill harms the poorest Americans even more than originally thought. That’s partly because of the provision to eliminate the federal insurance mandate, which the CBO said would lead to as many as 13 million Americans becoming uninsured and losing federal subsidies to help them buy insurance.

Ron Deutsch, with the liberal leaning think tank Fiscal Policy Institute, also believes that the poor won’t fare well under the federal tax overhaul plan. He said the U.S. needs a tax overhaul that is the exact opposite of the current proposals.

“What we really need is a bottom-up tax package, providing cuts to the people at the lowest end of the socioeconomic ladder,” Deutsch said. “Because they’re going to spend the money that they get.”

He said that would help stimulate the economy and potentially even create new jobs. Deutsch said wealthier people can afford to hang on to any savings from tax changes, so their gains would not necessarily benefit the entire economy.

 

Access Full Article HERE

PolitiFact: Cost estimates of ending worker program vary widely

November 25, 2017. This Politifact article is assessing the claim by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. He tweeted that the United States would lose $164 billion in GDP over a decade if they terminated Temporary Protective Status (TPS). TPS is a status for immigrants from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and other temporary conditions preventing the safe return of their citizens. This status provides immigrants with TPS work authorization and protection from deportation, but does not include a pathway to citizenship. The Trump administration ended the TPS status of Nicaragua and Honduras’s status is still under consideration. This article includes statements that argue that the termination of TPS would effect certain industries in the workforce negatively. Politifact determined that Rep. Joaquin Castro cited the loss of GDP accurately.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, claimed the U.S. economy would be negatively impacted if the Trump administration eliminated an immigration protection mostly benefiting Central Americans.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, immigration research director at the Fiscal Policy Institute, said it is sound to look at industry output when thinking about GDP loss.

“GDP, after all, is about measuring total output in the economy,” he said.

Our ruling:

Castro tweeted, “Ending #TPS and deporting legal workers would cost the United States ~$164 billion in GDP over a decade.”

Castro accurately cited GDP loss reported by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. But at least one other report pegged a GDP loss that’s more than three times smaller, $45.2 billion. The report Castro used had calculated lost earnings and impact on industries, while the other report only looked at lost wages.

Here is the link to Politifact.

 

Pros, Cons of Voting for a Constitutional Convention

November 2, 2017. On Election Day, New York’s voters will have their first opportunity in 20 years to call for a state constitutional convention via ballot proposition. Nearly 100 Capital District voters packed the auditorium at the Guilderland Public Library last Tuesday night for a panel discussion titled “Would New York State Benefit from a Constitutional Convention?” The event, co-presented by the League of Women Voters of Albany County and the Women’s Press Club of New York State, was moderated by Susan Arbetter, host of WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom,” a syndicated public radio program about state politics.

Ronald Deutsch, executive director of the Latham-based Fiscal Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization committed to improving public policies and private practices to better the economic and social conditions of all New Yorkers, is equally dissatisfied with the status quo. However, he views this ballot proposition as a means of opening up the state constitution as a whole to extensive scrutiny by extremists on both sides of the political spectrum. While he says good things could result from the people calling for a convention, he’s frightened about the “really bad things [that] could happen,” citing the conservative climate now prevalent in politics at both the state and national levels which has the potential to revert or even repeal existing protections, such as the Forever Wild provision.

Access full article HERE

David Dyssegaard Kallick Participates in the “On Immigration” Panel Discussion

November 20, 2017. On November 1, 2017, FPI’s Deputy Director and Director of the Immigration Research Initiative, David Dyssegaard Kallick, joined other experts in a panel discussion, “The Business of Immigration,” hosted by City & State New York. He joined the moderator Stuart Schulman, Professor of Management at Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Lorelei Salas, Commissioner for the Department of Consumer Affairs, Hollis V. Pfitsch, Deputy Commissioner at the Law Enforcement Bureau, and Dara Adams, Industry Program Director at FWD.us. The panelists discussed the role that immigrants play in New York City’s economy through small business ownership.

 

Watch NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s keynote address

View the event photos

Read City & State’s event coverage

Activists, Immigration Officials Push for DACA Legislation

November 16, 2017. This article discusses the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the Trump administration, which effects over 40,000 young individuals. The administration announced that October 5, 2017 would be the cutoff deadline for renewal applications and that new applications would no longer be accepted. Under DACA, young individuals had work authorization and protection from deportation. On November 1, there was a forum discussion hosted by City & State New York at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, that FPI’s director of immigration research, David Dyssegaard Kallick, was included in. The forum discussed the challenges that Dreamers faced with the short deadline, including financial difficulties raising money for the fees in such a short time. The participants discussed the contributions of immigrants and Dreamers to the economy such as revenue from taxes and business ownership, as well as the push for a solution that includes a pathway to citizenship.

The current solutions offered for Dreamers affected by the soon to be dropped the program are short-term. Lawmakers are racing to enact legislation that includes a path to citizenship before the March 5 deadline, when Dreamers will lose work permits and become susceptible to deportation.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute and author of numerous studies on the economic effects of immigration, emphasized the importance of immigrant business owners in city neighborhoods.

Outside of the sheer numbers—48 percent of business owners in the city are first-generation immigrants and 46 percent of the workforce is made up of immigrants—immigrants are twice as likely to own a Main Street business. He said these businesses are the kind that revitalize neighborhoods: “the grocery stores, the retail shops, the dry cleaners—the things that make a neighborhood feel like it has some character.”

Here is the link to the Times Ledger.

Teachers Union, Progressive Groups Fight GOP Tax Plan

November 16, 2017. Progressive advocates and lawmakers are ramping up efforts to block a Republican tax bill that would end SALT deductions and give cuts to wealthy Americans. A new ad released this week by the group Not One Penny is putting the pressure on GOP members of Congress who have yet to take a firm stand on the bill. The state teacher’s union has signed on to this campaign and with us in studio to talk more about this is NYSUT Political Action Coordinator Melissa Servant and, joining us from DC is Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

 

Access to Video HERE

Rep. Joaquin Castro Claims TPS End Will Lead To $164B GDP Loss Over A Decade

November 14, 2017. On November 6, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that they were not extending the Temporary Protective Status of individuals from Nicaragua, and that the status for Honduras is currently under consideration. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a status given to individuals from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and other temporary conditions that prevents the safe return of their citizens. This status provides work authorization and protection from deportation to individuals. Rep Joaquin Castro claimed in a tweet that the United States would lose $164 billion in GDP, which was obtained from a Center for American Progress report. This article goes on to discuss that those with TPS not only generate GDP but purchase homes and are significant contributors to many industries such as construction, childcare and landscaping. Politifact determined that Rep. Joaquin Castro accurately cited information in his claim and rated it “half true.”

Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro claimed the U.S. economy would be negatively impacted if the Trump administration eliminated an immigration protection mostly benefitting Central Americans.

“Ending #TPS and deporting legal workers would cost the United States ~$164 billion in GDP over a decade,” Castro tweeted on Nov. 1, ahead of the deadline for the U.S. government to decide on the current TPS status for Honduras and Nicaragua.

Several researchers we reached out to said they had not done their own, independent analysis on this issue, but did not challenge Center for American Progress’ findings.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of immigration research at the Fiscal Policy Institute, said it is sound to look at industry output when thinking about GDP loss.

“GDP, after all, is about measuring total output in the economy,” he said.

Here is the link to Politifact.

Commentary: State Should Do More For Immigrants

November 13, 2017. In this op-ed by Karthick Ramakrishnan, he argues that New York is behind California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Washington, in regards to immigration policies that protect immigrants and help economic growth. He goes on to argue that Governor Cuomo, who is seeking his third term, has a weak immigration record and if he plans to run in the 2020 presidential election, he needs to change that in order to win votes. Ramakrishnan argues that Governor Cuomo could enact many of the proposed policies that the New York Immigration Coalition has outlined in their blueprint for New York State, such as driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, to not only protect immigrants but help the economy flourish.

In the past two decades, however, New York has slipped considerably behind peers like California, Illinois, and Washington when it comes to policies that protect immigrants and advance the state’s economic interests. If Cuomo is to be seen as a national leader, he must step up and champion policies that protect immigrants and their contributions to the state’s economy and American society.

These immigrant-friendly policies proposed by the New York Immigrant Coalition would bolster the state’s economy, which is especially significant in the context of a federal administration committed to cutting state funds for a variety of social services. For example, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that driver’s license legislation alone would result in $57 million in annual government revenues, plus $26 million in one-time revenues.

Here is the link to The Times Union.

HOUSE TAX PLAN: BENEFIT FOR RICHEST 1% in NYS GROWS OVER TIME

HOUSE TAX PLAN: BENEFIT FOR RICHEST 1% in NYS GROWS OVER TIME

 By 2027 Wealthiest 1% Get Average Tax Cut of $34,000 and Poorest 20% Get $90

 

A 50-state analysis of the House tax plan released last week reveals that in New York State the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers will receive the greatest share of the total tax cut in year one and their share would grow through 2027. Further, the value of the tax cut would decline over time for every income group in New York except the very richest.

 

House leadership continues to tout this tax proposal, which will increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, as a plan to boost the middle class. But a closer examination of the bill’s provisions reveals that it is laser-focused on tax cuts for the nation’s highest earning households. The wealthiest New Yorkers share of New York’s tax cuts would grow over time due to phase-ins of tax cuts that mostly benefit the rich and the eventual elimination or erosion in value of provisions that benefit low- and middle-income taxpayers. For example, after five years, the bill eliminates a family credit worth $300 for each filer and non-dependents that benefits low- and middle-income families while fully repealing the estate tax in year six for the few very large estates subject to the tax.

 

More specifically, the 10-year outlook for the plan reveals that by 2027, the top 1 percent of households in New York share of the tax cut would increase from 18 percent in year one to 42 percent by 2027, for an average cut of $34,130 when fully phased in. Middle-income taxpayers’ average tax cut would erode from $650 in 2018 to $360 in 2027 and the poorest 20 percent’s average tax cut would decline from a mere $100 in 2018 to $90 in 2027.

 

“This bill may cut taxes for some low- and middle-income households though it also raises taxes on some of these families and still many see no benefit at all.  But let’s be clear: it is still the case that it will primarily benefit the wealthy, across the nation and in New York,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. “What elected officials, whom we have sent to the nation’s Capitol to represent us, are saying is just as important as what they are not saying. These tax cuts that mostly benefit top earners will add to the nation’s annual deficits and come at the expense of low- and middle-income families who will likely lose more from cuts to education, health care, infrastructure and other public services than they gain from the small cuts they would receive.”

 

“This tax proposal would have a devastating impact on our communities. Not only would many of New York’s low and middle-income households see tax increases, they would also face catastrophic cuts to the human services programs they depend on, including cuts to job training, child care and food assistance. This bill makes America greedy; taking vital resources from those who need it while creating more income inequality across the nation,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director, Human Services Council of New York.

 

“The House Tax Plan holds the greatest promise for not reducing inequality between the wealthiest and lowest income New Yorkers, but rather exacerbating it”, said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of FPWA. “Current analyses indicate the top 1% would hold onto an additional $34,000 annually while our poorest neighbors would have an average of just $100 more.  Furthermore, the House Plan is estimated to add more than a trillion dollars to the deficit over the next decade, which legislators would likely aim to curtail with cuts in vital human services, inflicting harm to those in need.”

 

This proposal, which increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, should be scrapped and we should put these dollars to better use.  What might a better use of these funds support, $150 billion per year would roughly equal:

 

  • Doubling the Pell Grant program, which provides aid to low- and moderate-income college students; AND
  • Doubling cancer research at NIH; AND
  • Funding the full backlog of needed maintenance at National Parks; AND
  • Providing child care assistance to 6 million children; AND
  • Providing opioid addiction treatment to 300,000 people; AND
  • Training 3.5 million workers for in-demand jobs.

 

To read the entire report or get more details about New York go to http://itep.org/housetaxplan

 

 

 

New Data from FPI: Refugee Placement by Metro Area and Locality

November 6, 2017.

Until recently, refugee resettlement was something the United States took on quietly and with a justified sense of pride. Even as immigration policy became a controversial issue, refugee resettlement was generally kept out of the fray.

More recently, refugee resettlement has become a focus of uneasy attention. With the refugee ban that was implemented by the Trump administration in the beginning of his term and the decision to cut resettlement numbers in half, it is more important than ever to recognize the significant contributions that refugees make to the United States economy.

To understand where refugees are playing a role in the local economy, the Fiscal Policy Institute compiled data about where refugee resettlement has taken place over the past 10 years.

Data about refugee arrivals and placements has long been readily available at the state level. Researchers looking to compare refugee resettlement across localities, however, have faced challenges in finding the numbers. Below is a compilation that allows for comparisons across local areas. This is, as far as we know, the first time the local data has been compiled across all states, and the first time it has been aggregated by metro area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above are the top 10 metro areas, ranked by the number of refugee placements over the past 10 years. Click below for:

* all metro areas ranked by number of refugees placed.

number of refugees placed in localities within the metro areas.

Metro areas, which include both central cities and their suburbs, are the geographical unit that allows for the most reasonable apples-to-apples comparison across the country. For this analysis the Fiscal Policy Institute uses the Metropolitan Statistical Areas as used by the Census Bureau.

It is nonetheless interesting to note the local areas in which refugees are placed. In looking at localities within the metro areas, note that the place recorded in the data refers to the location of the refugee resettlement agency. The refugees are likely settled within the metro area of the locality, but not necessarily within the locality itself.

By: Cyierra Roldan and David Dyssegaard Kallick

 

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