CTJ and RRAN Call for Funding Health Care through Responsible Tax Reform

Citizens for Tax Justice

This morning, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), in conjunction with Rebuild & Renew America Now (RRAN), a tax policy group, released a report outlining two tax reform proposals devised to help pay for the much anticipated overhaul of the U.S. health care system by Congress. The proposals, designed to place the least amount of tax burden on low and middle-income families, call for an expansion of the Medicare tax and a limitation on itemized deductions. According to CTJ, the two tax reforms could yield as much as $60.5 billion in the first year and $760 billion over the course of a decade. The report breaks down how the tax reforms would affect citizens of different income levels on a state-by-state basis. In addition to the report, Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, which is part of RRAN, published an opinion piece on Huffington Post arguing for responsible revenues to pay for health care reform.

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CBO Releases Preliminary Deficit Numbers for FY2004

Last month the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected a $422 billion deficit for fiscal year 2004, and a $348 billion dollar deficit for FY2005. To see an OMB Watch analysis of this baseline projection read "Beyond the Baseline: 10 Year Deficits Likely to Reach $5.5 Trillion." As it turns out, the preliminary estimate released today is approximately $7 billion less than the CBO stated last month, according to their most recent Monthly Budget Review. Now they are reporting that the federal government incurred a deficit of $415 billion in FY2004.

This preliminary deficit figure is about $41 billion more than the FY2003 deficit, and 3.6 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Although it was reported that annual receipts rose by approximately 5.5 percent, they remain about 7 percent below their peak level in FY2000. And, according to the monthly review, individual income tax receipts remain approximately 25 percent below their peak in 2000. The drop in those receipts can be attributed to the recession, the decline in the stock market, and the Bush administration's tax cuts, the most recent of which were passed last week in a $146 billion package.

Interestingly, over half of the increase in receipts for FY2004 came from corporate income taxes, which ended up totalling approximately $57 billion more than they did in 2003. Federal income taxes paid by corporations can effectively serve to offset government outlays, and can bring down the budget deficit. Despite this fact, a study released in late September by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) found that between the years of 2001 - 2003, 275 of the nation's largest companies did not pay their fair share of income taxes; in addition many received excessive tax rebate checks.

A copy of the ITEP/CTJ report can be found here. Perhaps if corporations paid their fair share of taxes, and if federal legislation stopped handing out so many corporate tax breaks, we would see a decline in the deficit, which has been rising consistently since 2000.

Note: The figure $415 billion is the preliminary estimate for the national deficit; the Department of the Treasury will release the actual figure later this month.

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Large Corporations May Receive More Tax Breaks

The House and Senate continue to move forward on a substantial corporate tax bill. The Foreign Sales Corporation and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion (FSC/ETI) bill is designed to remove certain corporate tax subsidies that were ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization. Repealing the subsidies would increase federal revenue by approximately $50 billion over the next 10 years. (The bill is currently in conference. See a summary of the differences between the House and Senate version.)

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CTJ and ITEP Release Important New Report

On September 22nd, Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released an important report highlighting the taxes paid - or not paid - by many of the county's largest companies.

The report can be downloaded here.


Eighty two of America's largest and most profitable corporations paid no federal income tax in at least one year during the first three years of the George W. Bush administration. This is one of the many troubling findings of this major new report on corporate tax avoidance.

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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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Tax Cuts: See You in September ...

A bipartisan agreement to extend the so-called "middle-class" tax cuts for an additional two years bit the dust last week. Efforts to extend the cuts will now be delayed until Congress returns in September.

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Bush Tax Shifts

Two recent analyses show that the so-called "Bush tax cuts" are as much about shifting the burden away from wealthy Americans as they are about lower taxes for all.

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Bush Tax Cuts

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Tools You Can Use - Links to Various Resources

Listing of useful federal budget and tax resources for nonprofits. Prepared for the Federation for Community Planning's "Federal Budget Training Academy" held in DC September 21-24, 2003.

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Economy and Jobs Watch

Two recent economic reports show the depth of economic mismanagement by the Bush administration. First, it was reported last week that the unemployment rate has risen to 6.1 percent in yet another indication of the poor state of the labor market. Second, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that it expects the current year’s budget deficit will be around $400 billion.

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