Deficit Hits All-time High, Many Corporations Don't Pay Fair Share

Washington, DC, Sept. 22, 2004--The result of recent tax policy choices is that the 2004 deficit has reached an all-time high of $422 billion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office reported this month that only 11% of the FY 2004 deficit was due to cyclical factors, while 89% of the deficit was result of federal policy decisions. Not only is the current deficit the highest it has ever been in dollar terms, but in a recent analysis, OMB Watch Staff Economist John Irons projected that the deficit will reach $5.5 trillion over the next ten years. In addition, a new study released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) finds that many of the country’s biggest corporations are not paying their fair share of federal income taxes.

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Balanced Budget Amendment Could Destabilize Economy, Tie U.S. Hands

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2004 -- The House of Representatives is again set to consider an ill-conceived constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment (H. J. RES. 22). The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to address the proposal this Wednesday, September 22. 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.

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Administration Obstructs Regulation Across Agencies, Fails to Complete 70% of Goals

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 15, 2004, Noon -- An analysis of four key federal agencies charged with safeguarding the public's air, water, food, health, transportation and workplaces reveals consistent and widespread obstruction, neglect and weakening of protections. The report attributes the pattern to a pro-corporate bias of the Bush administration and appointed agency heads favoring narrow special interests over the public good. Download Report

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Report Card Finds Secrecy Rose 60% at Rising Cost of $6.5 Billion Last Year

RELEASED 10 A.M., AUG. 26, 2004 Washington, D.C.
Government data confirm what many have suspected: secrecy has increased dramatically in recent years under policies of the current administration, which classified 14 million new documents last year. For every $1 the federal government spent last year releasing old secrets, it spent an extraordinary $120 maintaining the secrets already on the books, according to an analysis by OpenTheGovernment.org.

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2003 Op-eds on Government Secrecy and Freedom of Information

Read the best published op-eds on the need for open government and threats to information access collected by OMB Watch, OpenTheGovernment.org, and our allies. Permission is granted for free reprinting of any of these articles, provided it credits the author and includes this attribution: "© 2004, distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services." Court struggles with privacy issue in Vincent Foster suicide case By Martin Halstuk

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Charities Urge CFC: Change Misguided Terror List Rule

STATEMENT OF OMB WATCH: August 6, 2004
OMB Watch joins coalition of nonprofits in urging the Combined Federal Campaign to alter its new policy interpretation, which requires nonprofits to screen employees according to government blacklists and erodes basic democratic principles. Full statement (.pdf)Coalition list and release.

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Estate Tax Repeal Would Hurt Charitable Giving, New CBO Reports Say

Two new studies by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) find that a permanent repeal of the federal estate tax would greatly reduce charitable giving. The CBO estimated that overall charitable giving would decline between 6 and 12 percent, and the decline in charitable bequests would range from 20 to 30 percent, if the estate tax were fully repealed. Download full press release (.pdf)

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JEC Press Release Misinterprets Evidence on Charitable Bequests

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2004 - The majority leadership of the Joint Economic Committee, in a recent press release dated July 28, 2004, pointed to an increase in charitable bequest giving as evidence that changes to the estate tax law have not impacted giving. Download Full Release (.pdf)

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Mid-Session Review Confirms Continuation of Record Deficits

Washington, D.C., July 30, 2004 - The White House's Office of Management and Budget today belatedly released its annual budgetary "Mid-Session Review," which attempts to put a positive spin on massive and worsening deficits and the lowest level of revenue in a half century. Download full press release (.pdf)

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2004 Op-eds on Government Secrecy and Freedom of Information

Read the best published op-eds on the need for open government and threats to information access collected by OMB Watch, OpenTheGovernment.org, and our allies. Permission is granted for free reprinting of any of these articles, provided it credits the author and includes this attribution: "© 2004, distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services." Let's live up to America's principles By Daniel Alcorn, a freedom of information attorney in Washington.

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