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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Committee for Economic Development (CED) Opposes the President?s Plan

The Committee for Economic Development (CED), an influential organization of business leaders and educators, released a report on March 5, 2003, titled "Exploding Deficits, Declining Growth: The Federal Budget and the Aging of America."

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Fair Taxes for All Coalition

OMB Watch is a member of Fair Taxes for All (FTFA), a growing coalition united in opposition to massive, irresponsible tax cuts.

President Bush's "economic growth" plan is a tax cut for millionaires that most economists agree will not effectively stimulate our weak economy or create jobs now. The reduction in public revenue resulting from the overall Bush tax package would leave our government $2 trillion dollars poorer, at a time when many public needs must be met. The FTFA website has fact sheets on the ramifications of these proposed tax cuts on local, state, and federal revenue, as well as analyses of the tradeoffs these tax cuts force. Read more about this effort and how you or your organization can get involved.

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Federal, State, Local Budget Cuts Compounded by Shrinking Private Funds

EPI, Campaign for America’s Future and State Groups Release Reports Detailing Damage Caused by Bush Tax Cuts

Check for the report on the problems your state will face if the Bush tax cut goes through – and find out how to work to stop it.

A person can’t open a newspaper these days without catching sight of at least one article reporting on recent slashes in some local or state budget or in one of the many threads of the country’s social safety net. From coast to coast, over the course of just the last two weeks, cuts have been announced: Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) announced that several million dollars will be cut this year and next from the state’s Medicaid program, which had been heralded for its success in providing mental and dental benefits, in addition to the traditional hospital care, to Oregon’s poor, elderly, and disabled residents; newly-elected Maryland Governor Bob Erhlich (R) has proposed a $25 million cut in state-funding for child care for low-income parents – this is on top of a 70% cut in funds for Maryland’s Child Care Resource Centers Network, which provides families of all income levels with guidance and information on available local child care providers.

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Dynamic Dysfunctions

At the start of this Congress, the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee made the implementation of the controversial practice of “dynamic scoring” for budget decisions one of its first orders of business.

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Treasury Department Warns U.S. Will Reach Debt Limit Soon

Bush Sets Record on Deficit: According to a chart released by Reuters last week, this year's $304 billion deficit that arose under the Bush Administration's watch is the largest in the last 30 years. Though many economists agree that temporary deficits at a time of a slowed economy are beneficial, most are concerned that the permanent commitment of the country's vital resources to providing permanent and costly tax cuts to the very wealthy will only create more trouble for the economy in the long-run. The Treasury Department issued a warning last week that the federal government would soon reach its current borrowing limit of $6.4 trillion, if Congressional action were not taken to raise it. As reported in the June 24 edition of the Watcher, this announcement regularly sets up a struggle between the Administration and Members of Congress, who do not want to appear to be spending beyond the government’s debt limit. As this Washington Post article points out, this most recent announcement is particularly troublesome, given that the President is also requesting a $674 billion tax cut.

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Responses to President's FY 2004 Budget Proposal

The President issued his FY 2004 budget proposal February 3, which was received with accolades by some and with great criticism by others worried that several key education, housing and environmental programs would suffer under his proposed funding levels. Included in this article are links to OMB Watch analyses, as well as the responses of other organizations and Members of Congress.

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President?s Budget Cuts Vital Programs and Makes Room for Costly Tax Breaks

In looking at this President’s budget, it appears that he is trying to be all things to all people. If we are to believe the President, there can be large increases for defense, smaller increases for homeland security spending, and the creation of new, large tax breaks for the nation’s wealthiest, including the acceleration and making permanent of previously enacted large income tax breaks – as well as a rational restraining of most other federal spending to contain the large deficits predicted for FY 2004 and beyond. However, the reality is that the large tax cuts already passed, coupled with the large tax cuts now proposed and the spending increases in defense and homeland security, will put added pressure to reduce long-term spending on domestic discretionary and entitlement programs – or cause the deficit to balloon.

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NPP Releases State of the States Report; ITEP Shows Who Pays

The National Priorities Project recently released two comprehensive reports that provide very useful state-by-state, as well as nation-wide, data. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy's Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in all Fifty States shows that, on average, state and local tax systems require the poorest taxpayers to pay the highest effective tax rates.

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FY 2003 Appropriations Coming to a Close -- Finally

On January 23, on a vote of 69-29, the Senate passed H.J. Res. 2, a $390 billion omnibus appropriations bill in an effort to begin bringing the FY 2003 appropriations season to a close. Since Congress was unable to resolve its budgeting differences last fall during its election fervor, this bill combines into one large bill the 11 appropriations bills that were not completed before Congress adjourned in December. (The timeline for this appropriations bill was so rushed, in fact, that Senate and House Republicans agreed to completely bypass the House, which has the authority to originate all spending bills, and allow the Senate to begin action on the omnibus spending bill.)

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State Fiscal Crises' More News is Bad News

Local news and national papers alike have been replete with the troubling real results of the growing state budget shortfalls. These stories have broken down the astounding figures – $65 billion and $70-$85 billion budget gaps in FY 2003 and FY 2004, respectively – into their real, daily effects on ordinary citizens. By now, Kentucky’s decision to release prisoners before their sentences were up has become the poster-child for desperate states and their drastic budget-balancing measures. In other similar high-profile cost-saving efforts, some school districts in Oregon and Colorado have turned to a 4-day school week; others have stopped buying new textbooks; still others have cut school athletic and marching band programs; in some districts in Oklahoma, the schools have stopped hiring substitute teachers and are, instead, looking to parents to fill in for teachers. According to the International Association of Firefighters, the state and local budget gaps have resulted in layoffs, station closings, and other reductions in staff, even as new Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge calls on local contributions for domestic security.

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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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