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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What the American People Want

After securing a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the top two House Republicans -- Speaker of the House-to-be John Boehner (R-OH) and Marjority Leader-to-be Eric Cantor (R-VA) -- offered their governing philosophy: Listen to the American people.

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CRS: Permanently Extending Bush Tax Cuts to Cost $5 Trillion

This guy has a point...In a report released last week, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) revised the total cost of permanently extending all of the Bush tax cuts to $5.048 trillion over the next ten years. The revised amount, which is significantly higher than the $2.8 trillion figure CRS reported in September, takes into account the cost of servicing the debt due to lost revenue and indexing the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to inflation.*

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, September 2010

Congressional Budget Office

Last Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their last Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for the fiscal year. So how much debt did Uncle Sam rack up in 2010, you ask. Well, just under $1.3 trillion. This figure is $50 billion less than what CBO projected just last month and is "$125 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2009." Everyone say, "Hooray" for deficit reduction.

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Fiscal Commission to Produce Sensible Solutions to Debt/Deficit Dilemma Soon

Rainbows and Unicorns to Appear Shortly After

No, I'm just kidding. In fact, according to a Congressional Quarterly (subscription) article published yesterday, it looks like expected Republican congressional electoral gains this fall may completely gridlock what are already complicated negotiations within the commission over addressing our nation's problematic mid- to long-term fiscal issues.

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Curtailing Deficits without Touching Defense Spending is Silly

'Did you call me silly?'

In their newly released, talking-point-heavy "Pledge to America," House Republicans say they are offering "a plan to stop out-of-control spending and reduce the size of government" if voters put them back in charge in November. One area of government the plan doesn't call for reducing, however, is the Department of Defense (DOD). In fact, the new conservative governing proposal explicitly exempts the DOD budget from their proposed cuts to bring federal spending back to "pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels."

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GOP 'Pledge' Is Simply a Way of Shutting Down a Large Part of Government

As Yogi Berra's redundant saying goes, "It's déjà vu all over again." Back in 1994, congressional Republicans unveiled what they called the "Contract with America." The Contract was chock-full of policy proposals intended to shrink the size of government, kneecap agencies' ability to protect the public, and decrease the burden on taxpayers, especially the rich.

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Putting a Better Face on Economic Stimulus

The latest economic data on the Recovery Act from the Congressional Budget Office indicate that, by at least two important metrics -- gross domestic product (GDP) and unemployment -- it is in fact working (see here, here, here, and here for more). Yet, only 33 percent of Americans think the Recovery Act "helped the jobs situation."

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, August 2010

People try to pull me down / They talk about me like a dog / Talk about the clothes I wear

Uh oh, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for August. The report states the federal government has racked up just under a $1.3 trillion deficit so far this fiscal year, which, for those of you paying attention, only has one month left. Are we going to break the $1.3 trillion barrier this year? Sadly, yes.

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The Real Significance of Orszag's Column

The man, the myth, the legend...

Peter Orszag's first opinion piece in the New York Times has certainly made a splash, hasn't it? Media outlets are hyping that the former head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has come out in defiance of the White House to argue that Congress should extend all the Bush Tax Cuts. Take a closer look at Orszag's column, though, and one will recognize this meme as a silly controversy distracting from the real issue raised in the piece.

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Commentary: Federal Debt and Its Implications for Economic Stability

When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produced a brief in late July on the nation’s debt levels and the risk they present to the economy, those pushing for immediate deficit reduction jumped on the report as evidence that the U.S. is about to go over a financial cliff. Upon closer inspection, though, the greatest threat facing the country is still the Great Recession and the lingering effects thereof.

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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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