New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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House Hearing Questions Whether PAYGO is Enough to Control Spending

The House Budget Committee held a hearing on June 24 on the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act of 2009, which was recently introduced by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). During the hearing, House members focused on the enforcement mechanisms in PAYGO, the significant exemptions granted under the proposed legislation, and whether the bill is the appropriate method to reinstate fiscal discipline in Congress.

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Social Security Unfairly Blamed Again for Health Care's Problems

In an opinion piece published in Roll Call, Gene Steuerle, vice president of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, engages in a bit of trickery intended to make long-term Social Security financing appear more dangerous to the long-term fiscal situation than it really is. The premise of the piece -- that Obama's budget is not transformative -- is, I think, spot on. However, Steuerle's enveloping of Social Security into Medicare and Medicaid costs is a classic sleight-of-hand employed by those who would dismantle Social Security as it exists today.

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We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

The Budget Brigade would like to wish you all a great holiday season and a super New Year. We would also like to thank all of our readers for following our work supporting us in 2008. We will be on vacation until January, but will return in 2009 to continue keeping an eye on things.

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2008 Fiscal Policy Year in Review

It's been an exceptional year. 2008 saw not only economic indicators that evoked memories of the Great Depression, but also a record-breaking federal budget deficit. The federal government, through several agencies, activated trillions of dollars in loans and asset guarantees. Congress approved the largest supplemental spending bill in its history and gave the Treasury Department the authority to expend the equivalent of three-fourths of the federal discretionary budget on one sector of the economy. But in many other ways, Congress proved to be unremarkable by staying true to its recent history of underachievement.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

While we here in the Budget Brigade are thankful that our respective alma mates are poised to clinch BCS bowl berths (hook 'em, Horns!), we are even more thankful that President Elect Obama has serious concerns about the current BCS system. That's change we can believe in!

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Orszag to head up OMB?

The National Journal has been reporting this week that current Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Peter Orszag is in line to head up the Office of Management and Budget in the upcoming Obama administration. Orszag formerly served as a senior economic adviser during the Clinton administration and held a post in the economics studies program at the Brookings Institution.

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Change We Can Believe In?

CQ published an infuriating article ($) this morning that explores Sen. Max Baucus' (D-MT) health care reform proposals, with a particular focus on whether those reforms will be implemented in a budget neutral way. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Monday that he hopes to make sure a health care overhaul proposal he released last week is paid for over a 10-year period. But he left open the possibility that it would not comply with pay-as-you-go budget rules over five years, or perhaps at all.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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