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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Battling Income Inequality through Smart Surtax Policies

In spite of the media's developing critical narrative of the Occupy movement, Occupy protesters have succeeded in changing the national political conversation from an obsession with debt and deficits to a focus on the growth in income inequality and the concentration of wealth.

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Latest Super Committee Proposals Steer Clear of Fiscal Responsibility

Members of the Super Committee appear as far apart as ever when it comes to agreeing to a deal that would reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years and the latest offer from some Democrats on the committee indicates that if a deal does actually win approval, it will be deeply irresponsible. A deal of this sort would maintain current inequities in the tax code while slashing funding for public protections and health care programs that are vital to working families and retirees.

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Budgets Are about Choices

Earlier this month, the city council of Topeka, KS, voted to decriminalize domestic violence in what has become a national-headline-grabbing budget dispute between the city and its county seat, Shawnee. Some are arguing that it's a sad spectacle when a couple of local governments within our nation play jurisdictional games with such a serious issue, but it's important to point out that the standoff didn't have to occur.

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Financial Taxes Can Raise Revenues, May Help Stabilize Markets

The congressional Super Committee, tasked with forging a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction package by Thanksgiving, is currently deliberating on which revenues – if any – to raise and to include in its plan. With Wall Street at the center of the 2008 economic collapse, the committee should look to a pair of revenue options that would fulfill the dual roles of addressing risks to the economy posed by Wall Street and raising much needed revenue: a financial speculation tax and a financial crisis responsibility fee on large financial institutions.

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Obama’s Deficit Reduction Plan Has Room for Improvement

The nation is less than two months away from what could be a seminal moment in its fiscal history. In late November, the new “Super Committee,” formed by the recent debt ceiling deal, will release its set of recommendations to cut the federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion. In an effort to influence the hectic debate the committee’s recommendations are sure to start, President Obama released on Sept. 19 a $3.3 trillion deficit reduction plan as a package of recommendations for the committee to adopt.

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What Happens When We Tax the "Job Creators"

I'm not sure what a "job creator" is, but for Republicans leveling criticism at Obama's recent deficit reduction proposal, a "job creator" is simply a high-income earner. They argue that because many small business owners file their taxes as individuals, if individual income tax rates on individuals are increased, it will reduce the investment capital available for small businesses to hire more people.

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Obama's New Deficit Reduction Plan Unapologetically Balanced

Earlier today, President Obama released a new plan for reducing the federal deficit, or the shortfall between revenues and spending. The plan is technically a set of recommendations for the Super Committee, which Congress created last month to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. Obama’s plan isn’t ideal, but it is easily one of the best set of deficit reduction recommendations to come out of Washington in a while.

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Buffett is Right, the Rich Should Pay More in Taxes

We're coming for your loot, Scrooge.

Warren Buffett's op-ed last week calling on Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy has struck a nerve with conservatives, stirring charges of class warfare and zingers about how the billionaire investor should write a check to help Uncle Sam. Exemplifying the right's opprobrium, the reactionary Tax Foundation has been lambasting Buffett in a series of recent posts and has actually gone so far as to call on low- and middle-income Americans to pay more before the rich do.

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First Glance at the Super Committee

As per the debt ceiling deal, the Budget Control Act of 2011, a 12-member special joint committee is to be created to produce legislation that will cut the deficit by $1.5 trilliion. The majority and minority leadership of both houses are tasked with selecting three members each to sit on this so-called Super Committte. Sen. McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), and Speaker Boehner (R-OH) made their appointments earlier this week, and by making her appointments today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rounds out the Super Committee roster.

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Commentary: Stronger Estate Tax Should Be Part of Debt Ceiling Deal

Anti-tax ideologue Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and his allies in Congress are calling for repeal of the estate tax. However, as lawmakers look to address our nation’s long-term fiscal dilemma, they should consider the estate tax a key piece of the puzzle and should include a stronger version of the tax in any deal to raise the debt limit.

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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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more resources