Valuing Labor Means Helping Workers, Especially When There Are No Jobs

As we take a three-day weekend to celebrate those who labor, let us take a moment to remember the families who won’t be planning picnics or a last trip to the beach. Despite some positive economic indicators, 9.7 million Americans are still out of work, almost a third for more than six months. More than seven million more have taken part-time work at poor wages to make ends meet even though they need full time work to pay the bills. And three-quarters of a million more have little hope and have given up looking for work and as a result are no longer counted as “unemployed.” (They are just “out of the labor force.”)

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Congress's Latest Assault on the EPA

On July 9, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced H.R. 5034, the Stop the EPA Act of 2014. Incorporating the worst aspects of previous attempts to undermine the ability of federal agencies to address needed public protections, this bill would require a joint resolution of congressional approval for any standard developed by the U.S.

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What is this Country about Anymore?

Meet Mark. He's a 58 year old, college-educated veteran who lives in Oregon. He was laid off last September and has been unable to find work since. Mark's state unemployment benefits ran out in May. Since funding for the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was cut last December, Mark and more than three million other Americans, including nearly 300,000 veterans, have been denied access to a second six months of support — a vital financial lifeline in this tough economy. Mark is way behind in his rent, is selling everything of value he owns, and fears he will be homeless soon.

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Is the Federal Government Failing to Save $67 Billion? Congress Should Look in the Mirror

Many members of Congress have taken to social media this week pushing a stat that says the federal government is failing to implement some 17,000 recommendations from inspectors general that could - in total - save an estimated $67 billion a year. The stat is based on a report issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last March.

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Q & A With Thomas Hungerford: Why a Corporate Tax Holiday Is a Bad Way to Fund Infrastructure

Legislation that would fund infrastructure projects through a controversial way of generating revenue is being considered in Congress and has picked up a substantial amount of bipartisan support. While expanding investments in infrastructure is popular with many as a way to meet pressing national needs and create jobs, why is the legislation so controversial?

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EPA Sustains Major Cuts to Developing and Enforcing Safeguards in FY 14 Appropriations

Despite an attempt by some to portray the $299 million increase in EPA's overall fiscal year 2014 budget as a positive compromise, those in Congress who oppose developing and enforcing public health and environmental safeguards have much to celebrate. Of particular concern, the budget includes major cuts to EPA's operations that develop and enforce public health and environmental protections.

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Key Transparency Fund Survives in Spending Bill

The House and Senate appropriations committees today released a new spending bill which contained good news for a key fund for government transparency programs. The Electronic Government Fund (E-Gov Fund) will receive a slight boost in funding from recent years, while still falling short of the administration’s funding request.

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Planning Ahead to Keep Government Information Online

During the October 2013 federal government shutdown, several important public information sources were shuttered, which weakened government transparency during that time. But – short of averting the shutdown itself – could anything have been done differently?

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Estimate: The Shutdown Caused $24 Billion in Damage to the Economy

The nearly two-and-a half week government shutdown cost the U.S. economy some $24 billion, according to an estimate by financial company Standard & Poor’s. Similarly, market research firm Moody’s Analytics came up with a nearly identical number of $23 billion, or $1.4375 billion per day.

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Why “The Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet” is a Bad Standard for Judging Policy Choices

There are many who are downplaying concerns about the October 17 deadline for approving a routine measure that allows the U.S. to manage its finances and pay the bills it already owes. Without approving an increase in the debt ceiling, it will be difficult for the U.S. federal government to pay its bills on time – likely leading to default. Because of the central role these regular payments play in the U.S. and global financial system, many experts say a default on U.S.

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