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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Podesta Proposes Reasonable Plan for Deficit Reduction

John Podesta

At a hearing before the House Budget Committee last week, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff and current President of the Center for American Progress John Podesta advocated for a long-term approach to reducing deficits and bringing back a balanced budget. For all the hyperventilating over the debt and deficits currently going on in Washington and around the country, Podesta's approach is the closest thing I've seen to a sane plan.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, December 2009

Congressional Budget Office

Oh, boy, it's that time of the month again, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for December. Let's see, the government spent a little less than it did at this time last year, but it continued to take in less money, which, along with the deficits in October and November, created an approximately $390 billion budget deficit through the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. Overall, the MBR continues to paint a rather ugly picture of government finances.

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Merry Christmas, America: Uncle Sam isn't going to Default on His Debt

Yes, That's Your Present

When Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise on Tuesday to allow a final health care vote earlier than planned on Christmas Eve, they also made room to finish off the year with a vote to raise the nation's debt limit temporarily.

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This Week in Deficit Hawks

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

On Thursday, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), in an attempt to become more "relevant," held a hearing in search of fiscal remedies to the country's growing $12 trillion debt. Rather than provide a platform for exploring different options, though, Lieberman lined up witnesses to trumpet a special congressional commission that could railroad budget "solutions" through Congress. Lieberman, along with several of his hearing witnesses, has joined a small but vocal choir of deficit-hawk-converts that are demanding the government address budget shortfalls immediately, seemingly without regard to current fiscal circumstances.

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House Finishes Year in a Blaze of Controversial Legislation

Yesterday, in what most news organizations are calling a "flurry" of legislative action, the House passed a relatively large package of contentious bills, including the Defense appropriations bill, an increase to the debt limit, and a jobs bill. The Defense bill, originally thought to be the most difficult of the four bills, easily sailed through the House, 395 to 34, and the Senate immediately began its debate on the bill. The other two bills, however, proved to be much closer, and foreshadow legislative confrontations in the beginning of 2010.

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Deconstructing the Deficit

When discussing the federal budget deficit, I should be clear that reducing it right now is absolutely the wrong policy to pursue. It will likely strangle the meager recovery that's underway, and attention should primarily be focused on reducing the growing cost of health care. Having said all that, if deficit reduction must be addressed right now, it's important to first understand its composition.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, November 2009


On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for November. With the first two months of the fiscal year behind us, CBO found that the government added $292 billion to the federal debt. Someone let Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and the rest of the recently converted budget hawks in Congress know they have more fuel for their doomsday fire.

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Pomeroy Estate Tax Bill Passes House

The Estate Tax Love Boat

As expected, the House brought up the Pomeroy estate tax bill this afternoon, and the legislation passed by a narrow score of 225 to 200. The bill passed mainly along partisan lines, but 26 Democrats joined the Republican caucus in opposition to the measure. Nine House members did not vote. With passage by the House, the bill now has to make it through the gauntlet that is the Senate.

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House Set to Vote on Pomeroy Estate Tax Bill

The Biltmore Estate

The House plans to take up estate tax reform as early as tomorrow with a vote on Rep. Earl Pomeroy's (D-ND) Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act of 2009 (H.R. 4154). The Pomeroy bill would permanently extend current estate tax law at a $7 million exemption for couples at a 45 percent rate. Without congressional action this year, the estate tax will expire in 2010 and then come back in 2011 under its pre-Bush tax cut levels of a $2 million exemption for couples at a 55 percent rate. OMB Watch has submitted a statement of support to Rep. Pomeroy's office, and several other non-profits have come out with reports to back up the legislation.

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On the Deficit, Pelosi Gets It

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Just before the Thanksgiving break, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), during a conference call with reporters, trumpeted the need for more job-creating legislation in spite of the growing deficit, and, thereby, continued to throw cold water on some congressional members' aspirations to begin tackling the country's debt.

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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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