Appropriations and Supplemental Spending Bill Update

Negotiations between the House and Senate on the FY 2002 supplemental spending bill (H.R. 4775) broke down after the White House threatened to veto the bill if spending was much more than the $28.8 billion requested by the President and consisted primarily of spending for defense and national security and aid to New York City.

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OMB?S Mid-Session Budget Review: Rosey Pays Another White House Visit

It comes as no surprise that the budget review issued by the Office of Management and Budget on July 19, 2002, shows a higher deficit for 2002 than predicted in its February 2002 report—from a $106 billion to a $165 billion deficit. In spite of the increasing deficit, OMB is optimistic about a quick return to budget surpluses in 2005, which are estimated to continue to increase over the next decade. In other words, according to OMB, this has been a rough time, but the President’s economic and fiscal policies, particularly the tax cut, insure that the long-term outlook couldn’t be better.

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OMB Watch Opposes Bush Tax Cuts

OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy group that seeks to promote government accountability and citizen participation, strongly supports the Fair Taxes for All Coalition in its opposition to the Bush tax cut proposal. The Bush tax cut plan is inequitable and too expensive. It will primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and the cost will unwisely use up the budget surplus without properly investing in our future. In fact, the Bush tax plan is likely to cause actual cuts in important government services and activities that benefit us all.

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Internet Tax Moratorium Passes House

On May 10, 2000, the House voted 352-75 to extend a moratorium on Internet-specific taxes for five years, until Oct. 1, 2006 (H.R. 3709).

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President Signs Debt Ceiling Increase Bill

On June 28, after much public and bipartisan hand-wringing, the President quietly signed a $450 billion increase to the debt limit, and thereby allowed the federal government to continue to sell Treasury bonds to help finance its current spending needs. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill had warned that without this increase, the U.S. would have to default on its debts for the first time in its history.

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OMB Watch Comments on New Performance Evaluation Tool

During the past three years, OMB Watch has sought to increase the participation of nonprofit groups in the implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). On July 3, OMB Watch submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the recently issued Program Assessment Ratings Tool (PART) arising from the first meeting of the Performance Measurement Advisory Council.

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'April Surprise' Turns Into July Fright As States Begin New Budget Year

Last Monday, July 1, marked the start of a new fiscal year for most states, many of which had to resolve large deficits after years of "April Surprises" -- the affectionate name given to the larger-than-expected influx of state income tax revenue each April 15.

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Playing Chicken Over Social Security's Future

By now it should be obvious to everyone, including Congress, that it is not possible to adhere to the budget limits (caps) on discretionary spending and pass realistic spending bills for FY 2000, at least not without resorting to accounting gimmicks and trickery. Sticking to the caps means drastic and politically unfeasible cuts. This should be good news for advocates who have been arguing all along that staying within the budget caps would severely slash important spending needs, including education, health, environmental protection, housing, and a score of other beneficial programs, especially those upon which low to mid-income Americans depend.

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OMB Watch Comments on Program Assessment Ratings Tool from OMB

The following are comments sent by OMB Watch to OMB on the Program Assessment Ratings Tool (PART) tool arising from the first meeting of the Performance Measurement Advisory Council. The comments are also available in Adobe Acrobat PDF

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Estate Tax Repeal Proponents Launch New Round of Misleading Attack Ads

Repeal proponents may have failed to secure enough Senate support to make estate tax repeal permanent (see this OMB Watch article) in their June 12 vote, but that vote seems to have only strengthened their resolve. They have launched attack ads against a number of Senators who voted to for reform over repeal of the estate tax instead of repeal it.

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