How Prepared is the Budget for a Disaster?

In the past week, the East Coast saw two natural disasters, both of which were thankfully much less destructive than they otherwise could've been. These disasters do, however, remind us that the federal government plays major roles in preparation, information dissemination, emergency response, and recovery aid for natural disasters and provide people with the assistance they need and expect when catastrophe strikes.

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Business Economists: Current Regulatory Environment Good for Business and Economy

The August 2011 Economic Policy Survey from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that a large majority of business economists have a positive perspective on the regulatory environment in the United States, contradicting the overheated, anti-regulatory rhetoric coming from Big Business lobbying shops.

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Buffett is Right, the Rich Should Pay More in Taxes

We're coming for your loot, Scrooge.

Warren Buffett's op-ed last week calling on Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy has struck a nerve with conservatives, stirring charges of class warfare and zingers about how the billionaire investor should write a check to help Uncle Sam. Exemplifying the right's opprobrium, the reactionary Tax Foundation has been lambasting Buffett in a series of recent posts and has actually gone so far as to call on low- and middle-income Americans to pay more before the rich do.

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NOAA Takes Lead on Protecting Scientific Integrity

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) efforts to protect scientific integrity make the agency a leader among its federal counterparts, OMB Watch said in comments filed last week.

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Scientific Integrity Policies Moving Forward, But Still Little Sunlight

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced in a blog post today that nearly all the agencies participating in the development of scientific integrity policies had submitted draft policies to OSTP. The deadline for agencies to do so was last week. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are behind schedule but are expected to submit their policies soon.

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First Glance at the Super Committee

As per the debt ceiling deal, the Budget Control Act of 2011, a 12-member special joint committee is to be created to produce legislation that will cut the deficit by $1.5 trilliion. The majority and minority leadership of both houses are tasked with selecting three members each to sit on this so-called Super Committte. Sen. McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), and Speaker Boehner (R-OH) made their appointments earlier this week, and by making her appointments today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rounds out the Super Committee roster.

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Frequently Asked Questions on the Debt Ceiling Deal

As you might have heard, last week Congress finally negotiated an end to the debt ceiling crisis. The basics of the deal are well-known: Republicans agreed to raise the debt ceiling through the next election in exchange for significant spending cuts. But how does the deal actually work? Our new FAQ should help you understand the details behind the deal.

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The Good and Not-So-Good of EPA’s Chemical Reporting Rule

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the chemical reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This long-awaited rule not only provides Americans with the information they deserve about toxic chemicals affecting their communities, it also enables the government to strengthen democracy by proving its investment in the health of its people.

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Administration Seeks Transparency Ideas

The administration yesterday rolled out the awaited next phase of public consultations for its Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan. The announcement asked for comments on three specific issues where the administration could make worthwhile gains on transparency.

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Latest Food Recall Illustrates Need for Strong Public Safeguards and Equipped, Responsive Agencies

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall of approximately 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. This latest recall, one of the largest in U.S. history, should remind us why we need able government agencies to help identify, respond to, and prevent threats to public health.

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