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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Is the President’s Budget Dead on Arrival? Maybe Not

On Feb. 13, budget season officially began with the release of the president’s budget, which was immediately heralded as dead on arrival. “If there was ever a year to ignore the president’s annual budget proposal, this is it,” proclaimed the National Journal (subscription required). While this may be the fate of the president’s tax proposals, many of the program funding levels in his budget have a chance of becoming law.

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State of the Union's Call for Tax Fairness is a Good Start

“The state of the union is getting stronger.” That is how President Obama characterized the current state of the union. But, as we wrote in our State of the Union preview on Tuesday, we still have a long way to go before the economy is back on its feet. In our article, we recommended doing away with the looming budget cuts, increasing taxes on capital gains and financial transactions, and using the additional revenue to pay for more infrastructure projects and public protections. So what fiscal issues did Obama talk about in his speech on Tuesday?

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"Do-Nothing" the Best Prescription for Deficit Reduction, but a Bad Approach for the Country

Congress was busy in the days leading up to the winter holidays. At the 11th hour, the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget finally passed, three months late, along with an extension of the payroll tax cut and a package of other assorted cuts and credits. The only real substantive legislative change coming out of the session was the death of the ethanol tax credit – because Congress failed to pass it. In the year ahead, this might be a theme: change only happens when Congress does nothing.

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Small Wins for Transparency in 2012 Spending Package

The fiscal year 2012 spending package signed by President Obama on Dec. 23 included some good news for government transparency and right to know. Many of the worst provisions of the bill were removed from the final compromise, but open government advocates remain concerned.

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Congress Strips Out Many Controversial Riders from Funding Bills, but Leaves Public in the Dark

Even though the 2012 fiscal year (FY) began more than two months ago, Congress only recently put the finishing touches on this year’s budget. Over the weekend, the House and the Senate approved a funding package wrapping all of the outstanding annual appropriations bills into one. In doing so they stripped out many, but not all, of the controversial legislative provisions, known as policy riders.

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House "Megabus" Contains Modest Boost to E-Gov Fund

Late Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee released its proposed "megabus" spending bill, packaging the nine appropriations bills that have not yet been completed for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. The House and Senate have been in negotiations to finish the nine bills before a stopgap spending bill expires on Friday.

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Fiscal Policy: The Best and Worst of 2011

Welcome to OMB Watch's year-end fiscal policy review, where we give you a retrospective of the good, the bad, and the ugly of fiscal policy in 2011. Some acts, such as increased contracting transparency, made for enjoyable viewing, while others, like the congressional budgeting process, left us crying for a new script. Read on for our take on the year's highlights in revenue, budgeting, and spending.

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Super Committee "Failure" Is Anything But

On Monday evening (Nov. 21), the Super Committee formally announced that it was unable to reach an agreement for reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion. While others are decrying the lack of agreement by the Super Committee and calling it a failure, we at OMB Watch believe that each of us should, instead, be relieved.

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Open Government Leaders Support Funding for Key Transparency Initiatives

OMB Watch and the Sunlight Foundation today released an open letter to the U.S. Senate supporting continued funding for the Electronic Government Fund's important transparency projects. The letter echoes the Obama administration's policy statement issued Nov. 10.

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Letter: Open Government Groups Urge Senators to Restore Funding for Transparency Efforts

We are writing to urge you to protect funding for the Electronic Government Fund at the General Services Administration in H.R. 2354, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. As currently written, H.R. 2354 would not provide adequate funding for the E-Gov Fund’s important programs, which provide critical support for the construction of a more transparent and efficient government and serve as a building block for private-sector innovations that create high-tech jobs.

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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