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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The Government Is Open Again…Now What?

Just after midnight on Oct. 17, President Obama signed legislation that avoided a dangerous default and reopened the government after the third-longest government shutdown in history. Under the terms of the deal, the government was funded through Jan. 15, 2014, and the debt limit was extended until Feb. 7, 2014.

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Center for Effective Government Statement on Agreement to Reopen the Government and Avoid Default

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2013—The bipartisan deal passed by the Senate reopens the government and avoids a default on U.S. debt. However, by only funding the government through January, it sets up another fight over funding the government in the next several months.

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Why “The Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet” is a Bad Standard for Judging Policy Choices

There are many who are downplaying concerns about the October 17 deadline for approving a routine measure that allows the U.S. to manage its finances and pay the bills it already owes. Without approving an increase in the debt ceiling, it will be difficult for the U.S. federal government to pay its bills on time – likely leading to default. Because of the central role these regular payments play in the U.S. and global financial system, many experts say a default on U.S.

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Congressional Research Service Details Latest Shutdown Developments at the Defense Department

On Oct. 7, the Congressional Research Service updated its report on how a lapse in appropriations – in other words, a government shutdown – is affecting the Department of Defense (DoD). The Center for Effective Government obtained the report and is making it publicly available.

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Government Shutdown: Facing Furloughs and Disrupted Pay, 1 in 4 Federal Civilians Is a Veteran

While there has been substantial media coverage of how a prolonged shutdown would affect disability and pension payments to veterans, what has been lost in most of the coverage is that large numbers of veterans are being affected now. As more than 800,000 federal employees face furloughs, it is rarely mentioned that a quarter of the federal workforce is made up of veterans, many of them disabled.

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The Government is Now Closed…in More Ways Than One

The ludicrous and wasteful government shutdown can now claim another victim: government transparency. Several functions dedicated to providing information to the American public have been declared “non-essential” and are suspended during the lapse in appropriations. You might say that open government is now closed for business.

Here are some of the ways in which the shutdown is making it harder to know what government is doing (or at least, was doing before the shutdown):

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Government Shutdown: Top 50 Cities with Federal Workers and State by State Numbers

A government shutdown, if prolonged, will have far reaching impact beyond the federal government. But even in a short shutdown, federal workers will face impacts. You could call them fiscal policy's canary in a coal mine since they are among the first to be affected. While many will report to work – with the possibility of a delay in pay – many will be furloughed and may not receive pay for this forced time off. That would be up to Congress.

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Government Shutdown Creates Greater Insecurity in a Weak Economy

Now that the U.S. federal government has been shut down, what does that mean for the economy? It depends on a lot, namely how long it lasts. But it is already rattling markets and is estimated to have negative economic impacts, according to news reports. Members of both political parties have stated that the shutdown is not good for the economy. The White House has stated that a one-week shutdown (which some experts view as likely) would cost the economy $10 billion.

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A Prolonged Government Shutdown Would Impact Contractors

A government shutdown, particularly if it is prolonged, will affect more than just federal workers and their families. The large number of people employed by federal contractors and subcontractors could be at risk of furloughs, delays in pay, and adverse impacts to the companies they work for.

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What a Government Shutdown Could Look Like

It could be said that in this last week of the government’s fiscal year, the unstoppable force of House Republicans is meeting the immovable object of Senate Democrats. Although it may not be quite a fait accompli yet, the likelihood of a government shutdown seems be getting higher each day with no annual spending bills yet passed by Congress and enacted. If a shutdown does occur on Oct. 1 (or at some later point due to a mini-interim spending bill postponing it), what would it look like and how would it affect Americans?

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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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