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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Conservatives' Tax Strategy: Use Economic Fears to Cut Taxes for the Wealthy

Congressional conservatives have revealed their negotiating strategy for dealing with the fiscal cliff slope: scare the public and congressional Democrats into a deal that reduces the deficit through spending cuts alone. These fears have been blown out of proportion. A fiscal Armageddon will not happen on Jan. 1, 2013.

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European Consideration of Tax on Financial Transactions: A Model for the U.S.?

As Congress considers options to halt a slide down the fiscal slope, it should look to the financial transactions tax (FTT). The FTT can raise large sums of revenue with small rates while tamping down on the excesses of an industry that most Americans feel hurts the economy more than it helps, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center. American lawmakers are wrestling with how to handle the expiration of the Bush tax cuts while closing the federal budget deficit, but finance ministers in the European Union (EU) who are also facing budget shortfalls have advanced the FTT closer to European law. 

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Passing Over the "Fiscal Cliff" in Early 2013 Seems Increasingly Likely

While the outcome of the 2012 election will still ultimately decide next steps on the federal budget, a status-quo election that leaves Democrats in control of the presidency and Republicans in control of the House of Representatives seems likely to produce a budget stalemate that will last through the rest of the year and will trigger a "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases in the new year.

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New OMB Watch Analysis Indicates that Current Low Estate Tax Rates Are Unaffordable, Should Be Rolled Back to Earlier Levels

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2012—In a new analysis published today, OMB Watch makes the case for a strong, effective estate tax. The analysis lays out the importance of the tax in raising federal revenues and the ongoing budget debate and presents options for moving forward on the estate tax as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts looms at the end of the year.

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Tax Treatment of Capital Gains and Stock Trades Receives Attention as Congress Considers Tax Reform

On Sept. 20, the two congressional tax-writing committees held a joint hearing on the tax treatment of capital gains – gains on assets such as stocks, real estate, and other forms of wealth. The combined hearing – which brought together members of the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee with members of the Democratically controlled Senate Finance Committee – demonstrated the commitment of both parties to address tax reform issues soon after the elections. Such reforms may come as part of a larger budget package intended to prevent the federal government from going over a "fiscal cliff" on Jan. 2, when a host of Bush era-tax cuts are set to expire and across-the-board spending cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act will go into effect.

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Inheritance Tax Renewal to Be Part of "Fiscal Cliff" Discussions

With the federal budget on the precipice of a "fiscal cliff" of pending budget cuts and tax increases that could take place starting Jan. 2 and tip the economy into recession, many budget watchers are waiting on the outcome of this year's elections to determine how to proceed. One issue up for discussion is the renewal of the inheritance tax (also known as the estate tax).

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Buffett Rule Targets Capital Gains

On April 16, the Senate voted on a bill that would have enshrined the “Buffett Rule” in the tax code, which would have ensured that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes. With the bill’s defeat, Congress should consider other options to increase tax fairness.

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Congressional Progressive Caucus and Ryan Revenue Proposals: Two Sides of the Budget Coin

The fiscal year (FY) 2013 budgets proposed by the House Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee, are perfect examples of the fact that budgets are about choices. The revenue proposals in each serve as a study of opposites. Where the Ryan budget would double down on the Bush tax cuts and provide huge windfalls to the country’s wealthiest, the CPC’s proposal – The Budget for All – would ask those with the most wealth to help fund important investments in our public structures.

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Cutting Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies a Small but Responsible Step

There are few subsidies more polarizing than those for oil and gas drilling. Increasingly, however, the public tide seems to be turning against the subsidies. The president has been targeting them for repeal, and last week, the Senate came just a few votes shy of ending a slew of tax subsidies for oil and gas companies. While the subsidies are small compared to the forecasted $10.7 trillion 10-year deficit, ending the give-away to oil and gas companies that currently enjoy record-setting profits is a popular and fiscally responsible choice.

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Paul Ryan's Revenue Reforms Slash Taxes on the Rich

Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his latest budget proposal, called "The Path to Prosperity," which serves as an update to his plan from last year. The proposal, which is the draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 House budget resolution, is supposed to be a fiscal framework for the House for the coming year. However, the congressman's tax plan is not a serious proposal for change.

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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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