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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More Hope for the President's Fiscal Commission?

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Yesterday, I happened upon a short post by Berkeley economist Brad DeLong in which he quoted from a recent Daily Caller article taking the temperature of DC insiders prior to the start of President Obama's debt commission. DeLong found Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) comments about eliminating $300 billion worth of waste in Medicaid through the commission discouraging, as "[t]otal Medicaid spending this year is currently pegged at $280 billion." Notwithstanding his obvious mistake, I thought Coburn's comments were encouraging.

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The Economy is not the People

In a post questioning the feasibility of "pay[ing] off our debt" by only raising taxes on those earning more that $250,000, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) tragically confuses "the economy" with "people." The answer to their query, by the way, "can Only Taxing Income Over $250,000 Pay Off Our Debt?" turns out to be "yes, yes we can pay off our debt."

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Repubs on Fiscal Commission not Ruling out Tax Increases

Republican Leadership

An article in The Hill on Saturday provided a glimmer of hope for those of us keeping an eye on President Obama’s debt panel. According to the piece, “Republicans aren’t ruling out raising taxes or any other option for dealing with the country’s debt problem as they head into the White House fiscal commission’s first meeting,” which is scheduled for early next week.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, March 2010


Chalk up another set of economic data under the category of "information most informed people knew a long time ago, but that will really upset the Teabaggers," because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for March, and, oh boy, are there some ugly numbers in there to cherry pick. With that said, there are some bright spots too.

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Deficit Commission Gridlock Set to Begin April 27


According to a Bureau of National Affairs article (subscription required) from earlier today, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of the 18-member panel created by President Obama to devise strategies for reducing the nation's debt and deficits, have sent a letter to members informing them that the panel's first meeting will commence April 27. Formally known as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR?), the panel has a disastrously devised procedural process that is likely to produce either gridlock or, at best, water downed recommendations.

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Deficit Commission Line-Up Completed

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) named her picks to sit on the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (or, just "the Deficit Commission" or "the Debt Commission"), she rounded out the 18-member slate.

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Senate Rejects Arbitrary Budget Caps

Thanks in no small part to the 1,146 emails you sent in the past 48 hours, the Senate just voted down the Sessions-McCaskill amendment, which would have instituted draconian discretionary budget caps for the next three fiscal years. The amendment lost on a 56-40 vote, failing to reach the 60-vote margin it needed by only four votes.

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Keep the Pressure on the Senate

We're hearing that the vote on the Sessions-McCaskill amendment will happen today at 5 (EDT). If you haven't done so yet, send a letter to your Senators and tell them that arbitrary limitations on federal spending is terrible budget-making. Take action now!

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Tell the Senate to Vote No on Disastrous Discretionary Spending Caps

In what looks like an attempt to out-fiscal-hawk President Obama, Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have introduced an amendment that would impose strict limits on discretionary spending for the next three years. The amendment sets limits far lower than Obama's already low budget proposal, and it even includes a cap on defense discretionary spending, something the President's proposal does not do. Such caps would result in drastic cuts to many vital economic safety net programs and public protection agencies, negatively impacting the lives of millions of Americans. And while the two senators claim that the amendment will reduce the deficit, in reality, because discretionary spending is so little of the federal budget, the amendment's deficit-reducing effects will be minimal.

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CTJ Shows Tax Proposals in Rep. Ryan's 'Roadmap' Lead to Disaster

Luckily, No One was Hurt...

In a report released yesterday, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) critically examine the tax policies proposed recently in Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget alternative, conventionally titled, "A Roadmap for America's Future." Claims of the proposal "balancing the budget" and "reforming entitlements" have already been thoroughly debunked, but CTJ has contributed a valuable analysis of the young Republican's tax policies, which will actually cost the government "$2 trillion over a decade even while requiring 90 percent of taxpayers to pay more" than they already do in taxes.

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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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