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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New Medicaid Rules May Cost States Triple Administration Estimate

Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats released a report detailing the effects of the Bush Administration's Medicaid rule changes (one went into effect on Monday while several others are pending). According to the report, the new rules would cost state governments a total of $50 billion over five years - over three times the administration's $15 billion estimate. The report is the product of the House committee's request to states to estimate their expected federal funding losses due to the proposed Medicaid rule changes.

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Multiple Rules Work in Concert to Undermine Medicaid

The Bush administration is pursuing or has achieved several policy goals that work to cut social support services by reducing federal funding for Medicaid programs. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released all of these policies — three proposed rules, one interim final rule, and two final rules — in the past nine months.

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Bush Budget Continues to Disappoint

President Bush's FY 2009 budget continues to receive poor reviews into its second week. We reviewed a number of those reactions last week (see our summary posts here and here), and below are some additional disappointed reviews:
  • The Daily Tar Heel: Budget May Cut Student Loans
  • BlackAmericaWeb: Reading Is Fundamental's Program Target of Major Cuts
  • Center for American Progress: Bush's Budget Cuts Aid to Displaced Workers
  • The Buffalo News: Bush Budget Disappoints
  • Washington Post: No Funds in Bush Budget For Troop-Benefits Plan
  • WP's Stephen Barr: Social Security, DHS Say Bush's Budget Falls Short

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House Approves Senate-Revised Stimulus Package, Heads to President's Desk

The House voted (380-34) to approve an economic stimulus package passed by the Senate hours earlier. The measure now awaits the president's signature. Congress has decided that the hungry, the unemployed, and the cold should continue to go without adequate food, adequate income, and adequate heat, because putting money into their hands would do little stimulate the economy as they probably wouldn't spend it.

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Reactions to Bush's Budget Begin to Appear

The day after President Bush released his $3.1 trillion budget for FY 2009, analysts and advocacy groups have begun to roll out reactions and statements on the proposal. Below are a few out so far: CBPP: Federal Grants to State and Localities Cut Deeply CBPP: The Dubious Priorities of the President's Budget FRAC: Statement on Nutrition Program Changes in Budget NWLC: Bush Budget Locks in Gains for the Rich, Short Changes Women and Families We'll post more statements and analyses as they are released. OMB Watch's overview of the budget will be released this afternoon in the next edition of The Watcher (Sign up here if you don't receive The Watcher).

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CBO Director Orszag Testifies on Costs of Health Care

Yesterday, CBO Director Peter Orszag testified before the Senate Budget Committee on the rising costs of health care. He emphasized that technological change in health care is the primary driver of health care cost, and not population aging. Furthermore, it is the rising cost of the health care that is the underlying cause of the nation's long-term fiscal challenge.

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House Tries, Fails at SCHIP Expansion Veto Override

The Republican War on Children's Health continues($). The House failed Wednesday to override President Bush's second veto of a children's health insurance bill, again confounding Democrats' plans to expand government-sponsored health coverage to include an additional four million low-income kids.

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Samuelson Watch: This Week - He's Cynical, Yet Completely Lacking in Empathy

I don't know where to start with this week's Samuelson column ("Lollipop Economics"). It's a mess. I guess the quality control person at the Post had the day off. As expected, Samuelson devotes another chunk of prime pundit real estate to heft the long term fiscal imbalance on the shoulders of the Baby Boom generation and their impending retirement. This is, of course, just wrong, wrong, wrong. As has been documented numerous times, the fiscal challenges of the next fifty years lay squarely in the rapidly raising cost of health care.

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Bush Backs Off Social Security Reform

Bob Samuelson must be crying ($): President Bush said in late 2007 that Social Security reform awaits the election of the next president, effectively deferring any action on reform before 2009. The biggest issue for the next president will be entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, Bush said Nov. 7 in an interview with German television reporters.

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Contact Us!

Questions, comments, suggestions, and glad tidings can now be directed to the BudgetBlog inbox at: (In an effort to prevent spam, our contact address appears as an image and without a link to the address.)

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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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more resources