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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Happy Thanksgiving!

While we here in the Budget Brigade are thankful that our respective alma mates are poised to clinch BCS bowl berths (hook 'em, Horns!), we are even more thankful that President Elect Obama has serious concerns about the current BCS system. That's change we can believe in!

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Friendly Advice

When going to Washington to ask Congress for $25 billion to help you out of jam because your company is going bankrupt, it's probably best to leave the private jet at home.

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Orszag to head up OMB?

The National Journal has been reporting this week that current Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Peter Orszag is in line to head up the Office of Management and Budget in the upcoming Obama administration. Orszag formerly served as a senior economic adviser during the Clinton administration and held a post in the economics studies program at the Brookings Institution.

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Notes from the Economy: Unemployment

It's up from 6.1 percent in September to 6.5 percent in October. Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy lost 240,000 jobs in October, as the year-to-date number of jobs shed rose to 1.2 million.

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Tax Cheats Are Rich

A paper released last month by tax guru Joel Slemrod and Andrew Johns of the IRS analyzing "newly available data from the IRS's most recent comprehensive study of individual income tax noncompliance, the National Research Program, [assesses] the distributional consequences of income tax noncompliance in the U.S. federal income tax for the tax year 2001."

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Out of Crisis, Opportunity

Writing in The New Yorker, Steve Coll meditates on the significance of the reactions certain political élites who are now lining up in favor using the government to better the economy. The country is fortunate in one respect: the sudden buckling of financial safeguards has put just about everyone in touch with his inner New Dealer. Even Alan Greenspan recently confessed to Congress a crisis of faith in self-regulation. Meanwhile, former free-market true believers in the Bush Administration have tossed out money from the public vault like looters... [...]

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Notes from the Economy: It's Not a Recession...Yet

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released GDP figures for the third quarter. This "advance" number indicates that the economy contracted in the past three months at annual rate of 0.3 percent.

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Silver Lining to the Financial Crisis

If anything, the collapse of the nation's financial markets has forced even the staunchest of believers in the Free Market® to consider the possibility that sometimes the "market" doesn't know best.

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Notes from the Economy: Underemployment

While the monthly number is an important component in summarizing the state of economy, it's an incomplete indicator. For example, at the state level in August, 20 states had unemployment rates greater than the national average of 6.1 percent, while 31 states had unemployment rates below the national average. Yet, the trend is unmistakable: compared a a year ago, 48 states have seen their unemployment rate increase with 34 percent increasing more than one percentage point.

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Pushing back against Democratic congressional leadership's call for another stimulus package, White House spokesperson Dana Perino told reporters: A lot of their discussions yesterday, as I understood it, are not necessarily items that we think would stimulate the economy. Additional benefits to individuals who may need support during an economic downturn aren't necessarily stimulative. And yet, about three weeks ago, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service issued a report on the economic slowdown saying just the opposite.

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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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