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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Balanced Budget Amendment Out of the Limelight For Now

A week after the House Judiciary Committee met to consider a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, Republican House leadership has decided to drop work on the legislation. This decision was made after the September 22 committee drafting session, during which Democrats offered numerous amendments to attach to the legislation. When it came time to vote the committee did not have quorum, and nothing was accomplished.

House members in support of the Balanced Budget Amendment seem to have gotten the message that besides the fact that the amendment is widely unpopular, there are also more pressing issues for them to be debating at this time.

The amendment - which proposes a constitutionally mandated requirement to balance the budget every year - would have terrible economic consequences, which many committee members have recognized. It was even unpopular among some committee Republicans. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is quoted in a Washington Post story as saying, "We can limit deficits on our own.... We in Congress ought to be embarrassed by what has happened. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves."

For now we can breathe a sigh of relief that House members have dropped work on this economically harmful amendment. To find out more about the amendment, and why it's adoption would be costly to the U.S. economy, click here to read a Clinton-era Treasury Department memo by Brad DeLong.

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Return of a 'CYA' Budget Policy

The long-ago defeated proposal for a balanced budget constitutional amendment is rearing its ugly head once again. Unable to pass a budget this year and having created near-record deficits, some members of the House are desperate to create the appearance of being fiscally responsible, and are considering bringing up a vote on the measure (H. J. RES. 22).

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Action Alert! The Unfortunate Return of the Balanced Budget Amendment

The full House Judiciary Committee met on September 22 to consider, once again, the ill-conceived constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment (H. J. RES. 22). The issue will most likely be revisited by the House Committee sometime next week, although it is currently unknown exactly when. Regardless of one’s opinions about the wisdom of balancing the budget or running massive deficits, the Balanced Budget Amendment is exceptionally bad economic policy. Download Press Statement - (.pdf, 1pp) Download Factsheet - (.pdf, 1pp) Take Action!

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Appropriations: A Broken Process

Not only was Congress unable to pass a budget resolution this year --passage of appropriations is also in jeopardy.

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Budget Resolution Update

As of June 1, there is still no budget resolution, even as the appropriations process is scheduled to begin.

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Proposed Budget Process Changes Are Too Risky

With the budget resolution appearing to be stalled in the Congress, attention may soon turn to changing the overall budget process.

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Will There Be a Budget Resolution?

"Paygo" rules, once a little-known budget technicality, are now proving to be the main impediment in reaching a budget resolution for FY 2005, which begins on October 1, 2004.

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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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