Chart of the Day: Families Still Struggling

Chart of the Day: Families Still Struggling

iStockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Ten years into what will soon be the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, 40% of families say they are still struggling, according to a new report from the Urban Institute. “Nearly 4 in 10 nonelderly adults reported that in 2018, their families experienced material hardship—defined as trouble paying or being unable to pay for housing, utilities, food, or medical care at some point during the year—which was not significantly different from the share reporting these difficulties for the previous year,” the report says. “Among adults in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty level (FPL), over 60 percent reported at least one type of material hardship in 2018.”

Americans See Tax-Paying as a Duty

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The IRS may not be conducting audits like it used to, but according to the agency’s Data Book for 2018, most Americans still believe it’s not acceptable to cheat on your taxes. About 67% of respondents to an IRS opinion survey “completely agree” that it’s a civic duty to pay “a fair share of taxes,” and another 26% “mostly agree,” bringing the total in agreement to over 90%. Accounting Today says that attitude has been pretty consistent over the last decade.

Coming Soon: Deductible Relief Day!

By The Fiscal Times Staff

You may be familiar with the concept of Tax Freedom Day – the date on which you have earned enough to pay all of your taxes for the year. Focusing on a different kind of financial burden, analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation have created Deductible Relief Day – the date on which people in employer-sponsored insurance plans have spent enough on health care to meet the average annual deductible.

Average deductibles have more than tripled over the last decade, forcing people to spend more out of pocket each year. As a result, Deductible Relief Day is “getting later and later in the year,” Kaiser’s Larry Levitt said in a tweet Thursday.

Chart of the Day: Pragmatism on a Public Option

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington
AARON P. BERNSTEIN
By The Fiscal Times Staff

A recent Morning Consult poll 3,073 U.S. adults who say they support Medicare for All shows that they are just as likely to back a public option that would allow Americans to buy into Medicare or Medicaid without eliminating private health insurance. “The data suggests that, in spite of the fervor for expanding health coverage, a majority of Medicare for All supporters, like all Americans, are leaning into their pragmatism in response to the current political climate — one which has left many skeptical that Capitol Hill can jolt into action on an ambitious proposal like Medicare for All quickly enough to wrangle the soaring costs of health care,” Morning Consult said.

Chart of the Day: The Explosive Growth of the EITC

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers, was established in 1975, with nominal claims of about $1.2 billion ($5.6 billion in 2016 dollars) in its first year. According to the Tax Policy Center, by 2016 “the total was $66.7 billion, almost 12 times larger in real terms.”