Joint Economic Committee

Ranking Member

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

April 8, 2008

A GOOD JOB IS HARD TO FIND:
Evidence for Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits Already Exists

 

The March employment report showed widespread weakness in the labor market including, for the first time since 2003, a third straight month of falling employment. After months of job losses being contained in sectors associated with the housing bust, the economy is now showing losses in a wide array of industries. At the same time, unemployment is rising and jobs are harder to find.

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March 5 , 2008

PAID FAMILY LEAVE AT FORTUNE 100 COMPANIES:
A BASIC STANDARD BUT STILL NOT THE GOLD STANDARD

 

Employers and employees are searching for ways to balance the competing demands of work and family. As a guide for policymakers, this report examines how firms design their paid leave policies.

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February 27, 2008

High Oil Prices Have Significant Effects on Consumers and the U.S. Economy

 

Given the record price for a barrel of oil, Sen. Charles E. Schumer asked the majority staff of the Joint Economic Committee to do a brief analysis of the impact of sustained high oil prices on consumers and the economy. 

  Read the Fact Sheet
January 25, 2008

President Bush’s Dismal Economic Record

 

On Monday, January 28th, President Bush will deliver his annual State of the Union address to Congress. As he has in the past, President Bush is likely to claim that the policies of his administration have helped strengthen the economy. But President Bush’s claims are misleading.

  Read the Fact Sheet
January 18, 2008
Worsening Economic Conditions Will Increase Demand for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid
 

Worsening economic conditions will likely create substantial increases in demand for enrollment in states’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs over the next few years, even apart from the normal growth trend in public coverage. If employment growth falls to the levels seen following the 2001 recession, then demand for these programs will grow as the economy slows.

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December 20, 2007
Joint Economic Committee Annual Report
  The President says his policies are working to make the economy strong and that all Americans are benefiting, but the facts show an economic record that has left the vast majority of American families behind. The JEC report concludes that the country needs a change in direction to get our economy back on the right track and to ensure that all American families share in our nation’s growing prosperity.
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December 3, 2007
Analysis of the Energy Bill Tax Provision 199
  At the request of Senators Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the JEC examines the impact of denying the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 199 manufacturing deduction to major integrated oil and gas producers (while simultaneously freezing the deduction for other oil and gas producers) on consumer prices of oil and natural gas. The report finds that the proposed modification of this deduction would have a negligible effect, if any, on consumer energy prices. This tax provision will likely be included in a larger Senate energy bill as a way to finance renewable and energy conservation efforts.
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November 13, 2007
War at Any Cost?: The Total Economic Costs of the War Beyond the Federal Budget
 

The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the U.S. in many ways: in lost lives, in international standing, and in economic growth. The full economic costs of the war to the American taxpayers and the overall U.S. economy go well beyond even the immense federal budget costs already reported. These “hidden costs” of the Iraq war include the ongoing drain on U.S. economic growth created by Iraq-related borrowing, the disruptive effects of the conflict on world oil markets, the future care of our injured veterans, repair costs for the military, and other undisclosed costs. The report finds the total economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far have been approximately double the total amounts directly requested by the Administration to fight these wars.

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  Read the Press Release
   
October 25, 2007
The Subprime Lending Crisis: The Economic Impact on Wealth, Property Values and Tax Revenues, and How We Got Here
  The JEC report is the first of its kind to project economic costs on a state-by-state basis from the third quarter of 2007 through 2009.  The JEC reveals that families, neighborhood property values, and state and local governments will lose billions of dollars as  two million subprime mortgage homes are foreclosed.  The subprime fallout report argues in favor of foreclosure prevention, which can save the economy billions in housing wealth and ease falling housing prices.
  Download the Report
  Read the Press Release
   
September 12,2007
Fiscal Responsibility: Which Party has a Better Record?
  The great majority of our national debt has been incurred by the past three Republican administrations. Over the past thirty years, those administrations have borrowed an average of $233 billion each year from the public. In contrast, under Democratic administrations the Federal government has borrowed an average of $26 billion each year, just one-ninth as much. The JEC analysis highlights a proven track record of fiscal responsibility under Democratic administrations, and conversely a sharp increase in debt under Republican administrations.
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  Read the Press Release
 
August 29, 2007
American Families are Losing Ground on Bush's Watch; Income Down, Poverty Up Since 2000
 

The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2006 report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States. Although median household income rose slightly in 2006, after adjusting for inflation, the report showed that all but the richest of American households have seen their incomes decline since 2000. The JEC compiled highlights of the Census Bureau's report and analysis of economic conditions under the Bush administration in three fact sheets focusing on poverty, income, and health insurance.

  The Number of Americans without Health Insurance Rose Again in 2006
  Household Income Up Slightly in 2006, but Down Since 2000
  Nearly One in Eight Americans Living in Poverty
  Read the Press Release
 
July 18, 2007
CHIP Makes Economic Sense
  As the Senate prepares to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released a new fact sheet highlighting the benefits of reauthorizing and expanding CHIP.  According to the fact sheet, entitled “CHIP Makes Economic Sense,” CHIP has dramatically reduced the number of uninsured children since its creation in 1997.  Over one million children currently covered by the program stand to lose coverage under the President’s reauthorization proposal, as states would face a total federal funding shortfall of as much as $7.6 billion over the next five years.
  Read the Fact Sheet
  Read the Press Release
 
June 22, 2007 Report Update: Sheltering Neighborhoods from the Subprime Foreclosure Storm
  In an update to the Joint Economic Committee's March report, "Sheltering Neighborhoods from the Subprime Foreclosure Storm," the JEC finds that foreclosures continue to rise across the nation as more and more subprime borrowers’ loans reset to higher rates in a weak housing environment.
  Read the Report Update
  Read the March Report
 
June 14, 2007 Energy Efficiency Is a Bright Idea
  Families that take advantage of energy efficient practices, appliances and vehicles could save an estimated $1,600 each year in energy costs, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of energy.  As the energy bill is debated on the Senate floor, Schumer, who chairs the JEC, initiated the report to shed light on the benefits of increasing energy and fuel efficiency to American families and the environment. 
  Read the Report
  Read the Press Release
 
May 24, 2007 Money in the Bank, Not in the Tank
  As Memorial Day weekend approached and the average gas prices hit record highs of $3.22 a gallon, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released a report revealing that the average American family will spend approximately $3,180 on gas this year alone. The report entitled “Money in the Bank, Not in the Tank,” shows that the average American family could save about 22 percent of their current expenditures on fuel by increasing their average fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon.
  Read the Report
 
May 22, 2007
The Economic Benefits of Investing in High-Quality Preschool Education
  Future fiscal challenges, global economic competition, and shifting demographic trends all highlight the need for policies to improve the skills and productivity of American workers and thereby increase future living standards. A promising strategy for achieving these aims is expanding government investment in high-quality preschool education.
 
Read the Policy Brief
 
May 22, 2007
Assistance Available Through the Tax Code for Families with Children
  As the costs of raising a child continue to increase, working families need assistance to make ends meet and manage the difficulties of balancing work and family. Several provisions in the federal tax code are available to help families with children: the Child Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Dependent Care Assistance Programs.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
May 17, 2007 Most Baby Boomers are Saving Enough, But Many are at Risk of Significant Shortfalls
  As the first wave of baby boomers reaches the traditional retirement age next year, the question of whether workers are preparing adequately for retirement has become more important than ever. Despite numerous media reports on boomers’ dire retirement prospects, by various measures the average baby boomer household is on track to retire comfortably. Nevertheless, a significant minority of boomers—particularly those at the bottom of the income and wealth distributions—is at risk of a substantial decline in living standards during retirement.
  Read the Fact Sheet
 
May 13, 2007
SPECIAL MOTHER'S DAY REPORT: Helping Military Moms Balance Family and Longer Deployments
   Like all mothers, military moms face challenges in meeting monthly expenses, getting good child care and health care for their families and themselves. But military moms face the added burden of longer deployments and frequent separation from their children and spouses. While the military has taken steps to address the needs of mothers, the JEC report finds that more still needs to be done.
 
Read the Report
 
Read the Release
 
April 16, 2007
Families Missing Out on Billions of Unclaimed Tax Credits
   Benefits such as the dependent care tax credit, the earned income tax credit (EITC), education tax credits, and the saver’s credit are among the federal government’s most effective tools to help American families afford to raise their children, pay for higher education, and save for retirement. Yet each year millions of these taxpayers do not claim the credits for which they are eligible, leaving billions of tax credit dollars on the table.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
April 11, 2007
Sheltering Neighborhoods from the Subprime Forclosure Storm (REVISED)
   

Increases in payment delinquencies and foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market have raised widespread concerns about the possibility of increasing, concentrated foreclosures throughout the country. While lenders and banks figure out how to insure themselves from the consequences of increased subprime mortgage defaults, local communities are also struggling to stem the tide of foreclosures that impose significant costs on families, neighborhoods and cities. This conprehensive JEC report argues that foreclosure prevention is cost-effective and presents policy suggestions for curbing future subprime foreclosures.

 
Read the Report
 
View the Press Release
 
March 14, 2007
The Way We Were: Comparing the Bush Economy with the Clinton Economy (UPDATED)
   Despite efforts by the Bush Administration to portray the economy as doing well, Americans remain skeptical. One reason why the President is having such a tough time selling his message is that the economy has done so much worse on his watch than it did under President Clinton by a variety of indicators.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
March 2007
The Crisis of Black Male Joblessness
  Historically, labor market outcomes for African-Americans have been worse than those for the population as a whole. The problem is even more acute for black men, particularly for young black men with low educational attainment.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
Listen to the JEC Hearing on Black Male Unemployment
 
March 2007
Meeting the Challenge of Household Earnings Instability
  Many middle class families are experiencing ups and downs in their year to- year earnings and income, and their economic instability may be greater than in the past due to the consequences of globalization and technology. Elements of the social safety net can help cushion the impact of a temporary decline in earnings because of a job loss, but there are few government programs to help those who suffer a permanent reduction in earnings.
 
Read the Policy Brief
 
Listen to the JEC Hearing on Wage Insurance
 
February 2007
Investing in Raising Children
  The rising costs of childcare, healthcare, and education, coupled with stagnating wages, have made raising a child a financial high wire act for many American families. Targeted tax relief to middle-class families will help them to mange the crunch of balancing work and family, achieve their aspirations, and contribute to America’s economic growth.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
February 2007
Investing in Families Taking Care of Elderly Parents
  With the rising costs of health care and erosion of retirement savings from traditional pensions, many American seniors find themselves in a financial bind when they need unexpected medical care and must turn to their family members for emergency assistance. Often, their children have children of their own, and are juggling the rising costs of education and health care within their own household. The financial squeeze felt by these families in the “sandwich generation” who are taking care of both their parents and their children is likely to become more prevalent in the future as the population changes.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
February 2007
Investing In a College Education
  Parents today know that their children will need a college education to succeed in our global economy, but they are having a harder time saving for college as tuition skyrockets. Despite the importance of a college education to an individual’s future success and the competitiveness of the entire economy, steep tuition increases have made college an intimidating financial hurdle for middle class families. America’s parents need support to be able to provide their children with the opportunities and access to education that they had.
 
Read the Fact Sheet
 
January 2007
The President's Health Care Proposal: All Risk, No Reward
  In his State of the Union Address, President Bush announced a new health care proposal that he claims will“help more Americans afford their own insurance.” In fact, however, the President’s proposal is more likely to weaken the nation’s health care system than it is to make things better. It will not help the vast majority of the 47 million uninsured and will not address the inefficiencies in health care that contribute to skyrocketing costs. What it will do is undermine our country’s most reliable source of health care coverage - the employer-sponsored system - and put more and more people into the individual market where the risks are much greater.
 
Read the Policy Brief
 
January 2007
Billions in Offshore Royalty Relief for Oil and Gas Companies Buys Little for Taxpayers
  The federal government’s ill-conceived royalty relief pro-gram for offshore oil and gas drilling could cost taxpayers up to $80 billion - with precious little to show for it. As an economic policy, royalty relief appears to have no net effect on jobs at the national level or any effect on energy prices paid by consumers.
  Read the Policy Brief

Joint Economic Committee
Democratic

G-01 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5171