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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CBO Scores Obama's Budget

I know everyone's been distracted lately with health care, the Olympics, and the last season of Lost, but the budget process has been churning away silently these past few months. While we await Congress' budget resolution on April 15, the Congressional Budget Office decided to remind us all that the process is still moving ahead by releasing an analysis of the President's budget, one which is significantly less rosy than the President's estimate.

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Bunning and Co. Jerk American Workers Around

The Puppet Master

At the end of last week, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) and the Senate Republican caucus decided to take a stand on government spending by demanding that Congress offset an important tax extenders bill. The bill, which, among other things, sought to extend eligibility for unemployment benefits, COBRA premium assistance, a Medicare doctors' fix, and highway funding, failed to pass because of the GOP's intransigence. While offsetting spending is a sensible policy, this was hardly the appropriate moment to make a point on the issue, as blockage of the extension bill will likely have serious consequences for both jobless Americans and our weak, recovering economy.

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Americans for a Fair Estate Tax Announce Statement of Principles

Eat the Rich

On Tuesday, Americans for a Fair Estate Tax (AFET), a diverse coalition of public interest groups that OMB Watch is a part of and that champion a strong estate tax, adopted a new statement of principles on the tax. We argue that with both a dire need for the government to increase investment in basic public services and a credible long-term deficit problem looming, this is no time for Congress to grant further financial relief to the country's wealthiest citizens by reducing the estate tax.

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Oregon Ballot Initiatives Could Show Path Forward in Federal Tax Debate

The Great State of Oregon

In the midst of the media's recent myopic focus on the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the fourth estate has largely overlooked the fact that Oregon voters approved measures at the ballot box in January to increase taxes on wealthy citizens and corporations to help bring the state back into fiscal balance. Earlier this week, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a short paper on the implications those votes could have in Congress on the debate over the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts.

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Krugman: Unhinged Deficit Fears Create Misguided Policy Priorities

Paul Krugman

If you missed Paul Krugman’s op-ed in the New York Times this past Thursday, I strongly recommend reading it. The Nobel Prize-winning economist and Princeton scholar adroitly explains why “the sudden ubiquity of deficit scare stories,” which “isn’t being driven by any actual news,” is leading Washington to focus on the wrong fiscal priorities.

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An OMB Watch Statement on President Obama's Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2010—President Obama has sent his budget request for fiscal year 2011 to Congress. Far from bringing change, it at best tinkers with federal priorities while perpetuating the wrong budget agenda.

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Senate Clears $1.9 Trillion Debt Ceiling Increase

Just Put It on the Card

Last Thursday, the Senate voted, 60-39, along partisan lines to pass legislation raising the nation's borrowing capacity to $14.3 trillion. During debate of the bill, senators rejected an amendment to establish a commission to make recommendations to reduce the deficit, but agreed to an amendment reinstituting statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules with some exemptions.

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CBO: 2010 Deficit to Fall to $1.35 Trillion

In case you missed it, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its 2010 Budget Outlook, its yearly look at the health of the federal budget. CBO's director, Doug Elmendorf, provides the basics of the report:

CBO projects, that if current laws and policies remained unchanged, the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.35 trillion for fiscal year 2010. At 9.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), that deficit would be slightly smaller than the shortfall of 9.9 percent of GDP ($1.4 trillion) posted in 2009.

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Commentary: Deficit Commissions Unlikely to Produce Results

On Jan. 26, the Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) that would have created a bipartisan deficit commission. Due to the complex nature of the proposal, there is a low probability that such a commission would succeed in its goal to slow the growth of the national debt. Despite the improbability of success, there is much speculation that the president will now create a similar deficit commission through executive order.

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What Makes Defense Spending so Special?

A Waste of Money

Following up on Craig's post earlier this evening, I wanted to point out some of the really good points that Spencer Ackerman over at the Washington Independent and Matt Yglesias over at Think Progress have been making all day about President Obama's recently announced spending freeze. Ackerman asks why in the world defense spending should go unaffected and Yglesias adds that, while there are reasons to treat various kinds of spending and taxes differently, "the security / non-security distinction doesn’t hold up ... 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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