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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A Tale of Two Corporate Tax Plans

Last month, House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI) released his long awaited tax reform package. In it, he proposed overhauling the corporate tax code, eliminating many deductions and loopholes.

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Public Protections Budget Dashboard -- FY 2015

A critical function of our government is to protect us from known harm. We expect our national government to keep contaminated food off the grocery store shelves and out of restaurants; to prevent industrial facilities from poisoning the air and water in our communities, and to ensure we have safe workplaces. When our health and safety systems are working well, they tend to be invisible to us, and we take them for granted. It's when they fail that we pay attention. And we are likely to see more failures in coming years if we continue to reduce the resources available to public agencies when the scope and complexities of the challenges they face are increasing.

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Is the Federal Government Failing to Save $67 Billion? Congress Should Look in the Mirror

Many members of Congress have taken to social media this week pushing a stat that says the federal government is failing to implement some 17,000 recommendations from inspectors general that could - in total - save an estimated $67 billion a year. The stat is based on a report issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last March.

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Austerity Politics: Automatic Spending Cuts, a Government Shutdown, Job Loss, and Record Corporate Profits

2013 opened with the economy poised on the edge of "the fiscal cliff," and on that cliff was a sign reading, "Manufactured in Washington D.C." How did we start the year on a ledge, land in a shutdown in October, and scramble to a mini-deal in December? Since it all goes back to the Budget Control Act passed in August of 2011, a short recap may be in order.

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More Federal User Fees Could Be Part of a Mini Budget Deal

Observers have low expectations of the special House-Senate committee set up to craft recommendations for a long-term fiscal deal to replace the next nine years of so-called "sequestration" (automatic and indiscriminate budget cuts). Those recommendations are due by Dec. 13. The committee met for the first time last week, with Republicans publicly opposed to tax reforms that could generate more revenue and Democrats rejecting a spending cuts-only approach. But some think a smaller deal could happen to replace a year or more of sequestration, involving more "federal user fees" as a modest way to generate more funding.

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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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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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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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