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...

read in full
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...

read in full
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...

read in full
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...

read in full
more news

Bumping Our Heads Against the Debt Ceiling

On June 28, the day Congress is planning to leave for the July 4 recess, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill has warned that the government will run out of money to pay its bills unless Congress increases the limit on how much the Treasury can borrow. This means parts of government, if not all of it, will no longer properly function, and government will default on its bills. This has been publicly described as a showdown between the Bush administration and Congress, but in fact it is really a showdown between Bush and the Republicans in the House.

read in full

A Resounding "No" to Estate Tax Repeal

On June 12, the Senate rejected a proposal by Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) to make repeal of the estate tax, which under current law only expires for only one year, in 2010, permanent. Repeal advocates needed 60 votes to send the House-passed estate tax repeal bill on to the President for his signature, but only received 54 votes -- 44 Senators, including 2 Republicans, voted against repeal. This is even fewer votes than repeal proponents received in February on a non-binding .

read in full

Senate Rejects Permanent Repeal of the Estate Tax

Seattle Times article, June 13, 2002 This Seattle Times article reports on the efforts of pro- and anti-repeal advocates, as well as the results of the June 12 Senate vote on permanent repeal of the estate tax.

read in full

Tax-Cut Cynicism

New York Times Editorial, June 13, 2002 This New York Times Editorial piece argues that since all but 2% of the country's estates are subject to the estate tax, "The movement to repeal the estate tax has been a cynical and fraudulent exercise. Supporters say they want to protect people inheriting family farms and small businesses. But those estates have almost all been exempted."

read in full

Transcript of Remarks of Sen. Kent Conrad

On June 12, 2002, Sen. Kent Conrad, William H. Gates, Sr., and Americans for a Fair Estate Tax released the results from a poll conducted in May on views of the estate tax among the American public. The following is the transcript of the remarks by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND). I think the message is very clear from the polling. The people of the country favor reform of the estate tax rather than repeal. I think if one examines the issue carefully, one can see that repeal is both unfair and unaffordable.

read in full

"The Inherited Wealth Lobby"

E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post, June 14, 2002 In this op-ed piece, Dionne urges opponents of permanent estate tax repeal not to "shy away from this issue. They should make their case with confidence. They are prepared to protect the overwhelming majority of Americans from estate taxes. But the inherited-wealth lobby and its political allies won't let them do it."

read in full

"Opening A Trillion-Dollar Hole"

David Broder in the Washington Post, June 16, 2002 In this op-ed piece, Broder echoes Sen. Cristopher Dodd's (D-CT) words that, "It is truly mind-boggling that majorities in both the House and Senate have voted to compound the budget problems of the nation by making permanent the abolition of what they choose to call the 'death tax,' more commonly known as the tax on large estates."

read in full

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Letter to Senate Members

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) sent this letter to all Senate members on June 12, 2002, urging them to vote "No" on any proposal to make permanent any of the tax cuts enacted as part of last year's $1.35 trillion tax cut package -- and mentions permanent repeal of the estate tax specifically. The letter urges all Senate members to "reject any legislation to permanently extend such tax cuts until Social Security and Medicare have been placed on strong financial footing and seniors are provided adequate access to a Medicare prescription drug benefit."

read in full

NEA Letter to Senate Members

The National Education Association (NEA) sent this letter to all Senate members on June 11, 2002, urging them to vote "No" on the Gramm amendment to H.R. 8 for permanent repeal of the estate tax. The letter argues that, "Spending hundreds of billions of dollars to permanently repeal the estate tax will constrain our ability to meet the educational needs of our children." GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Diane Shust, Director 202-822-7321 FAX: 202-822-7741 June 11, 2002 United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator:

read in full


The final vote this evening (June 12) on the Gramm amendment for permanent estate tax repeal was 54 for permanent repeal and 44 against -- clearly failing the 60-vote requirement. This represents a resounding victory against permanent repeal of the estate tax. Votes on the two Democratic reform amendments showed that there is a lot of support for reform, and means that we now need to move forward to talk about what a fair and reasonable reform would be. (The Dorgan amendment was 44 for and 54 against; Conrad amendment was 38 for and 60 against) (To be precise, these all were procedurally votes on waiving the budget rules to allow votes on the amendments--but effectively they were votes on the substance of the amendments.) Please check for updates this week.

read in full


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...

read in full

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...

read in full
more resources