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...

read in full
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...

read in full
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...

read in full
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...

read in full
more news

What Portion of Our Collective Wealth Are We Willing to Invest So People Can Succeed?

That is the question President Obama posed at the Georgetown University Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty on May 12. It was a fascinating discussion -- not least because it was a discussion, with the president exchanging views with two scholars and replying to questions by moderator E.J. Dionne of theWashington Post. The president acknowledged the growing awareness of inequality and poverty. He challenged us to see that over decades, we have been disinvesting in shared institutions (like education) that lift people out of poverty. He agreed with the premise of one of the panelists, Robert Putnam, whose new book Our Kids describes the "withdrawing from the commons" occurring across the nation. Where in decades past affluent, working class and poor children might all have attended the same public school, all able to participate in school sports and music programs, today's communities are far more segregated by class as well as race. The well-off are less likely to send their children to a public school, and fewer have the equalizing experience of sports teams and band because strapped school districts now charge hefty fees to participating students, shutting out some struggling families.

read in full

Sequestration Report Highlights Detriments of Budgeting by Crisis

Across-the-board budget cuts in fiscal year 2013 affected the ability of agencies to serve the public. In response to these automatic cuts – triggered by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and a lack of consensus regarding changes in spending and revenue policies – agencies were forced to retrofit their budgets to fit these constraints mid-year.

read in full

Table Talk: Four Ways to Respond to Friends and Relatives Raging Against Government Over the Mashed Potatoes

It’s Thanksgiving week: Family gathering round the table to eat, to share, to love, say a few words of gratitude. And – if your family is anything like mine – things could spiral into a boisterous political argument. Maybe your family doesn’t talk politics at the table (lucky you!), but you never know when you might hear uncle so-and-so rattle off a few choice “facts” from Fox News. Hey, we’ve got your back: here are few ways to counter an ill-informed rant against public systems and structures that actually work to keep us all safer and more secure.

read in full

Baucus Proposal: Corporate Rate Reductions, No Sequester Relief

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) released a series of discussion drafts proposing elements of tax reform this week, including recommendations for international tax reform.

Baucus clearly states that tax reform overall should be revenue positive for deficit reduction, but the proposal for international taxation is revenue neutral in the long-run—leaving open the possibility of revenue positive reform of the individual tax system.

read in full

Protesters Order GOP Obstructionists to “Cease and Desist”

Last week, the government reopened and a default on the national debt was averted at the last minute, but not before Americans frustrated by extremist politics and budget brinksmanship turned out to hundreds of protests across the country.

read in full

Wildfires to Cost U.S. Forest Service More Under Sequestration

A 16,000 acre wildfire blazing in the Black Forest of Colorado has burned more than 485 homes and taken two lives, but the efforts of firefighters may be hindered by budget disagreements in Washington.

read in full

As Austerity Shrinks Government Budgets, Contractor CEO Pay and Public Costs Set to Rise

In the midst of shrinking federal spending on infrastructure, scientific research, Head Start, and other government programs, the costs of government contractor executives' salaries and compensation are set to soar unless Congress takes action. This is another example of how current government policies transfer resources to the wealthy and away from the programs that broadly support and grow a vibrant middle class.

read in full

Why Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Keeps Getting Cut

The biggest difference among the three budget plans that official Washington is currently considering is spending for non-defense discretionary programs, which includes education, infrastructure, food safety, environmental protection and other essential public investments the public says it wants government to continue to make. A chart created by the Congressional Budget Office – shows the differences between President Obama and Senate Democrats’ budget plans versus the House Republican spending blueprint.

read in full

Without Austerity, More Americans Would Have Jobs

As if Americans needed anymore confirmation that austerity is holding the economy back, The New York Times this week reported that the consensus among private financial analysts – as well as by the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Federal Reserve and others – is that sequestration and earlier spending cuts are translating into fewer jobs and a worse economy for the nation overall.

read in full


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...

read in full

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...

read in full
more resources