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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What Government Does for You

Published October 17, 2012—"Government, keep your hands off my Medicare!" Commentators and comedians alike had fun with the cognitive dissonance represented by the statement above, found on more than one hand-scrawled sign at Tea Party rallies. But while opposition to government is more at home on the political right, ignorance about the role of government is a bipartisan malady.

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Stealth Bill Aims To Cripple New Consumer Agency

Published September 17, 2012—The signature achievement of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act was the creation of a new consumer financial protection agency. Predictably, the big banks would like to see the agency neutered.

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Roll Call Op-Ed: Renewing Democracy Through Transparency

Published March 19, 2012—The excitement of government transparency has lost its shimmer, but a new mapping tool seeks to bring back the glow by making economic stimulus projects visible and demonstrating better ways to track all federal spending.

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Chronicle of Philanthropy Op-Ed: New Deficit Deal Should Make Nonprofit World Quake

Published August 21, 2011—After the debt-ceiling deal was struck, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner remarked, “It was a terrible process but a good result.” Many people will question the result, but no one will disagree with his assessment of the process. It has left Americans disgusted with Washington and more cynical about government. That may be the worst legacy of the debt-ceiling negotiations.

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Reducing Influence Peddling in Government Contracting

Published April 27, 2011—In this piece, Gary Therkildsen and Gary D. Bass of OMB Watch argue that the federal government, namely the executive branch, must get serious about making public the information on any and all lobbying related to the federal procurement process. The authors use the Boeing tanker contract scandal as an illustration of the need for reform. This piece appeared as part of the "Solutions: Making Government Work" column on Truthout.

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The Wrong Approach to the Deficit Could Imperil More than Just the Recovery

by Craig Jennings, OMB Watch, Jan. 24, 2011
When President Obama delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday, one topic he will likely devote many words to will be the nation’s finances. For months, we’ve heard calls from all sides to “rein in the deficit” – a deficit so massive that, if some politicians are to be believed, it may plunge the nation into another Dark Ages. If Obama echoes these unceasing cries coming from inside the Beltway and sets forth a budget plan designed to meet the needs of Washington politics and not the nation, he could imperil the nascent economic recovery and future growth while stifling public protections, the effectiveness of the federal workforce, and the economic well being of millions of families.

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Obama and Open Government: Turning Vision into Reality

By Gary D. Bass, OMB Watch
Simultaneously published Jan. 5, 2011 in the Huffington Post
On his first full day in office, President Obama promised an administration premised on transparency, participation, and collaboration. If Obama is successful in transforming government in this way, what does that mean for you?

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Obama's Regulatory Enforcement Shows That Government Can Play a Positive Role

By Matthew Madia, OMB Watch
Simultaneously published Dec. 20, 2010 in the Huffington Post
In its first two years, the Obama administration stepped up the enforcement of rules meant to protect the environment, workers, and consumers, according to a new OMB Watch report. This activity is a welcome development after years of regulatory negligence that likely played a part in the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and the most fatal coal mine disaster in 40 years.

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Obama Tax Cut Compromise Capitulates on Estate Tax

By Gary D. Bass, OMB Watch
Simultaneously published Dec. 7, 2010 in the Huffington Post
President Obama's tax cut deal with congressional Republicans, if enacted by Congress, will achieve what President George W. Bush could not get done: create a path to effectively kill the estate tax.

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GOP 'Pledge' Is Simply a Way of Shutting Down a Large Part of Government

By Gary D. Bass, OMB Watch
Simultaneously published Sept. 23, 2010 in the Huffington Post
As Yogi Berra's redundant saying goes, "It's déjà vu all over again." Back in 1994, congressional Republicans unveiled what they called the "Contract with America." The Contract was chock-full of policy proposals intended to shrink the size of government, kneecap agencies' ability to protect the public, and decrease the burden on taxpayers, especially the rich.

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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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