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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The Wrong Approach to the Deficit Could Imperil More than Just the Recovery

by Craig Jennings, OMB Watch, Jan. 24, 2011
When President Obama delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday, one topic he will likely devote many words to will be the nation’s finances. For months, we’ve heard calls from all sides to “rein in the deficit” – a deficit so massive that, if some politicians are to be believed, it may plunge the nation into another Dark Ages. If Obama echoes these unceasing cries coming from inside the Beltway and sets forth a budget plan designed to meet the needs of Washington politics and not the nation, he could imperil the nascent economic recovery and future growth while stifling public protections, the effectiveness of the federal workforce, and the economic well being of millions of families.

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CBO: Repeal of ACA Will Explode Future Deficits

What's the opposite of well thought out and helpful public policy?

Here's an interesting piece of news out of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO): the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase federal budget deficits "something in the vicinity of $230 billion" over the next ten years. What was that pledge the GOP made to the American people before the midterms? It included something about bringing down deficits, didn't it?

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Federal Employees: Doing More with Less...Already

President Obama has proposed freezing salaries of most federal employees for the next two years as part of his effort to address the federal budget deficit. Projected to save some $5 billion over the next two years, the freeze would shave 0.22 percent off the $2.3 trillion in deficit spending over that time, making it a largely token measure.

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OMB Watch Criticizes House Vote on Estate Tax Amendment

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2010—OMB Watch today criticized the House's Dec. 16 failure to adopt Rep. Earl Pomeroy's (D-ND) estate tax amendment to the Bush tax cut compromise reached by President Obama and congressional Republicans. The vote against the Pomeroy amendment indicates that the nation's fiscal priorities have been cast aside in favor of the estate planning needs of the wealthiest 0.3 percent of Americans.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, November 2010

Congressional Budget Office

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for November. Two months into fiscal year (FY) 2011 and the federal government is $283 billion in the hole. The good news is that this deficit is $14 billion less than the shortfall the government experienced at this time last year. The continuing bad news is that budget deficits like this are going to continue well into the future. Oh, and according to the report, the economy is "strengthening," which is also good news.

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$3.3 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan Set to Take Effect Jan. 1

One deficit plan that's not getting much attention, and one which can easily pass a Republican-controlled Congress, is the one that the Republican-controlled Congress approved in 2001 (and further augmented in 2003): The 2001-2003 Bush tax cuts.

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OMB Watch Pans Deficit Commission Plan

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2010—OMB Watch today panned the plan proposed by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to reshape the nation’s fiscal priorities. While the plan contains some praiseworthy provisions targeted at the tax code and the federal budget process, overall, it represents an unfortunate step backward in meeting the needs of the nation’s working families.

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The Brewing Showdown over a Government Shutdown

The Treasury Department says that some time in the first or second quarter of next year, the government will need to shut down unless Congress raises the debt ceiling so that additional borrowing can occur to keep things running. This could be a battle royale, creating showdowns within the Republican Party between the Tea Party activists and establishment members, as well as between the Republican Party and President Obama.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, October 2010

Because you need something funny to look at while you read this stuff...

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for October. This latest MBR finalizes September's report that projected a deficit $125 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2009. It turns out the government incurred a $1.3 trillion deficit, which is only $122 billion less than the deficit Uncle Sam racked up in 2009. On a positive note, though, it's confirmed that this the biggest one-year nominal drop in the deficit ever recorded.

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How Difficult Will Raising the Debt Ceiling in the New Congress Be?

Ceiling of the Capitol Rotunda

In February, Congress was barely able to raise the federal government's debt ceiling to allow Uncle Sam to continue borrowing. The votes, which occurred along strict partisan lines, only provided the government with one year's worth of additional borrowing capacity. With a new wave of conservative lawmakers on the way to Capitol Hill in January, will commitments to dogmatic principles by a majority of new members prevent the government from meeting its debt obligations?

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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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