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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Congress Looks to Insert Itself into the Debt *Problem*

He'll save the children, but not the British children

Ugh oh, a recent article in National Journal (subscription required) quotes several members of Congress, including Senate Budget Chair Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), expressing strong interest in the creation of a bi-partisan debt-reduction commission with binding recommendation powers to Congress. It seems Conrad, Wolf, and other budget hawks see the administration's need to raise the debt ceiling as the perfect opportunity to press for the creation of such a body. While there's nothing wrong with a debt commission per se, I find the timing and details of this scheme troubling for a number of reasons.

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Forgotten Tax Policy: The AMT

tax forms As we near the end of the calendar year, a familiar drone has been absent this year in discussions about tax policy - the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Despite early action this year that has put the issue off until 2010, the problems with the AMT that make it such a pain still exist.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, October 2009

Congressional Budget Office

On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for October. It's a look back at the good old days of Fiscal Year 2009, with all the spending, and borrowing and loss of revenue...wait, did I say "good old days?" Let's examine CBO's goodbye to the not-so-great fiscal year that was.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, September 2009

Congressional Budget Office

Grab the kids, stock the bomb shelter with supplies, and say goodbye to friends, because yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its fiscal year-end Monthly Budget Review, and it's bad.

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Opponents of ET Starting to Fight...With Each Other

head buttingThe estate tax has emerged from its summer vacation and is in the headlines again this fall. But its not the usual "the world will end unless this tax is repealed" drumbeat. In fact, it looks like anti-estate tax advocates are starting to butt heads a bit. Here's a quick rundown:

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Two Conferences on Debt, One Proclaims Debt Good, the Other Declares Debt Bad

The New America Foundation

I should mention that the first conference – sponsored by the New America Foundation on Tuesday – discussed the merits of short-term deficit spending in the midst of a recession, while the second academic panel – held yesterday and sponsored by the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform – discussed the mountainous mid- to long-term debt anticipated with the looming entitlement crisis. The distinction is important, yet often lost in discussions of deficits and debt.

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CBO Jumps to 20-Year Budget Window for Health Care

There is an interesting article ($) in CQ this morning about a possible change in forecasting techniques used by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, announced on Monday that CBO would likely provide cost estimates for the forthcoming Senate health care reform bill beyond the standard 10-year budget window - extending that window to 20 years.

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Shortsighted Tax Policy to Generate Windfall for the Rich


According to Howard Gleckman over at TaxVox, the blog of the Urban and Brookings Joint Tax Policy Center, due to a shortsighted revenue generator Congress put in place several years ago, wealthy individuals will soon be able to convert taxable investments into tax-free nest eggs, and deny the government needed revenues down the road. It's a perfect example of the unintended consequences of public policy and one of those things that make you either want to scratch your head or beat it against the wall, or both.

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Experts Foresee Disturbing Trend out of Recent Census Data

Brookings Institution

With yesterday's release of the Census Bureau's report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage for Americans in 2008, most economists and analysts agree that while the numbers are bad, next year's numbers will be worse and that trend could continue for a number of years.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, August 2009

Congressional Budget Office

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their monthly budget review for August.

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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