Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the Government

Readers of the Center for Effective Government’s blogs will know that in the past two weeks, a significant and wonderful community of people has been communicating through the comments section of our site. We hope you all saw Jessica Schieder’s recent post announcing a new Google group for those of you that want to carry on the discussion.

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Privatizing Public Housing, RAD-ically

A national initiative, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), has privatized public housing structures across the country. Cities including San Francisco and Chicago plan to turn over as many as 3,000 and 11,000 units, respectively, to the private market.

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Q & A With Philip Mattera: Tens of Billions in State and Local Subsidies Annually Go to Big Business

States and local governments strike deals with corporations all the time – deals that normal people like you and I would have a hard time getting and deals that often deprive our governments of revenue even as promises of job creation often disappoint. These tax breaks, publicly funded cash incentives, free buildings, and worker training are done in the name of keeping or wooing businesses. Until relatively recently, the public mostly knew about these subsidies on an anecdotal basis.

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A Tale of Two Corporate Tax Plans

Last month, House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI) released his long awaited tax reform package. In it, he proposed overhauling the corporate tax code, eliminating many deductions and loopholes.

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Sequestration Report Highlights Detriments of Budgeting by Crisis

Across-the-board budget cuts in fiscal year 2013 affected the ability of agencies to serve the public. In response to these automatic cuts – triggered by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and a lack of consensus regarding changes in spending and revenue policies – agencies were forced to retrofit their budgets to fit these constraints mid-year.

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Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take Action

After posting “Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not Forgotten” on our blog on Feb. 26, the Center for Effective Government received close to 100,000 page views and over 1,500 comments. Many of those who posted comments were people who had seen their emergency unemployment benefits cut and who are struggling to keep their lives together.

There is still a jobs crisis in this country, and the individuals who wrote to us are on its front lines.

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Years After Fatal Bridge Collapse, A Lack of Investment in Infrastructure

Investment in bridges continues to fall well short of needs, despite widespread agreement that our national bridge infrastructure is failing and in desperate need of attention. Unfortunately, the problem is often ignored until it is already too late, putting lives at risk and ultimately costing more money in the long run because of the economic costs of decaying infrastructure.

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Public Protections Budget Dashboard -- FY 2015

A critical function of our government is to protect us from known harm. We expect our national government to keep contaminated food off the grocery store shelves and out of restaurants; to prevent industrial facilities from poisoning the air and water in our communities, and to ensure we have safe workplaces. When our health and safety systems are working well, they tend to be invisible to us, and we take them for granted. It's when they fail that we pay attention. And we are likely to see more failures in coming years if we continue to reduce the resources available to public agencies when the scope and complexities of the challenges they face are increasing.

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Reimagining Government: Protecting Homeless Citizens from Severe Weather

During the recent bitter cold snap that gripped much of the country, civic leaders in Washington D.C.'s Department of Human Services extended the hours at existing homeless shelters, opened additional warming stations, and then got creative. The department partnered with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to borrow Metro buses to use as mobile warming shelters.

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New Senate Report Shows Credit Suisse Aiding Tax Evasion, Draws Bipartisan Anger

Partisanship was noticably absent from last week‘s Senate hearing on efforts by a Swiss bank to profit by aiding U.S. tax evasion. Senators from both sides of the aisle were united in condemning the actions of executives from Credit Suisse. 

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