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Budget Crises in 50 States & Federal Level. Wanna know where all the money went? Why there’s nothing

Budget Crises in 50 States & Federal Level. Wanna know where all the money went? Why there’s nothing left for u?
Mar 3, 2011 4:03pm by Mickel Adzema

Be sure to check the chart. Click here for chart: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/img/taxes-vs-budgetcuts-final.jpg
Amplify’d from http://www.americanprogress.org

Infographic: Tax Breaks vs. Budget Cuts

By Donna Cooper | February 22, 2011

House leaders are unfortunately restricting their proposed budget cuts for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 to nonsecurity discretionary spending in an attempt to tame a $1.3 trillion deficit. This approach is especially shortsighted since the Federal Treasury loses twice as much revenue due to tax breaks than Congress appropriates on all nonsecurity discretionary spending.

The chart below compares the 10 safety-net programs slated for deep cuts with the cost of the tax breaks that should also be considered for reduction or elimination to bring the budget into balance. The column on the left is a list of safety-net programs that have already been targets of the House leadership’s budget ax. The column on the right is the cost to specified tax breaks (see bottom of page for sources).

Most Americans would be surprised to learn that tax breaks are not on the table during any budget negotiations. In fact, Congress has the Congressional Budget Office prepare an official spending estimate for the cost of all programs or their expansions. Meanwhile, Congress enacts and continues tax breaks without any requirement that the cost of tax breaks be calculated and shared with members before a vote.

That’s why, over the last 16 years, the cost to the Treasury of the mortgage interest tax deduction, for example, doubled from $48 billion in 1995 to nearly $100 billion this year and no one made a peep about getting control of this loss in revenue. The stunning growth in this tax break is unchecked and unquestioned.

This tax break is also increasingly benefiting individuals who don’t need any federal incentives to purchase a home. In 2011 the mortgage interest deduction will help families who purchase a vacation home avoid taxes to the tune of $800 million. Meanwhile, the House Budget Committee chairman’s 2011 budget bill included $730 million in cuts to housing programs for the elderly and disabled.

There are many other examples where the cost of tax breaks are skyrocketing and disproportionately benefiting companies and people who don’t need them (see chart above):

* Congress should rein in the $4.6 billion in tax breaks given to companies who move jobs offshore instead of making cuts to the $4 billion in job-training programs.

* Oil companies get more than $2 billion in tax write-offs for drilling expenses yet Congress is considering cutting the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the $2 billion federal program that helps poor families pay their winter heating bills.

* Large biofuels companies, such as Archer Daniels Midland, benefit from the ethanol tax break that now costs nearly $5 billion a year. And oil companies such as ExxonMobil benefit from more than $9 billion in tax breaks for oil exploration.

Some tax breaks make sense. Those that stimulate economic activity that otherwise wouldn’t happen without the tax incentive may be worth the lost revenue, especially if that economic activity creates American jobs and provides assistance in sectors of the economy that show potential for growth.

That’s exactly what the Research and Development Tax Incentives or the Renewable Energy Tax Credits provide. Income tax breaks that help keep working families afloat, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, use the tax code effectively to stabilize the economy.

It’s regrettable that the congressional budget process doesn’t permit a robust debate about the choices we can and must make to bring the budget into balance. The Center for American Progress is thus pushing for a process where tax breaks are “scored” so members of Congress know and consider the cost of tax breaks as part of the annual congressional process to pass a budget.

A transparent budget process approach should be instituted now given the enormity of the budget challenge. It makes no sense to eviscerate safety-net supports when billions in unnecessary tax entitlements can be cut to preserve these important and socially responsible federal expenditures. Congress must face up to the cold hard fact that it’s time to make the tough choice to end tax entitlements—such as the one for “NASCAR racing facilities”—so federal funding for critical items such as child-nutrition programs are spared.

Donna Cooper is a Senior Fellow at American Progress.

Sources for tax breaks

Row 1: Figure represents half of the estimated $23 billion cost of weakening the estate tax for 2011 and 2012. See: Gillian Brunet and Chuck Marr, “Unpacking the Tax Cut-Unemployment Compromise,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, December 10, 2010, available at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3342.

Row 2: Figure represents 1 percent of the fiscal year 2011 tax expenditure estimate for the mortgage interest deduction, over 10 years. The vacation home deduction accounts for at least one percent of the tax expenditure cost. See: Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012 (Executive Office of the President, 2011), table 17-1; Congressional Budget Office, “Budget Options” (2000), REV-02.

Row 3 (now re: estate planning): General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 Revenue Proposals (Department of Treasury, 2011).

Row 4 (now re: itemized deduction limit): General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Revenue Proposals (Department of Treasury, 2010).

Row 5: Joint Committee on Taxation, Estimated Budget Effects of the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” JCX-54-10, December 10, 2010 (subpart F active financing exception).

Row 6: General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 Revenue Proposals (Department of Treasury, 2011).

Row 7: Joint Committee on Taxation, Estimated Budget Effects of the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” JCX-54-10, December 10, 2010 (half of total cost of two-year extension).

Row 8: General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 Revenue Proposals (Department of Treasury, 2011).

Row 9: General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 Revenue Proposals (Department of Treasury, 2011) (10-year cost).

Row 10: Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012, (Executive Office of the President, 2011), table 17-1 (expensing of multiperiod timber growing costs and capital gains treatment of certain timber income).

Row 11: Joint Committee on Taxation, Estimated Budget Effects of the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” JCX-54-10, December 10, 2010 (half of total cost of recent two-year extension).

See also:

* Government Spending Undercover by Lily Batchelder and Eric Toder

Read more at http://www.americanprogress.org
Budget Crises in 50 States & Federal Level. Wanna know where all the money went? Why there’s nothing left for u?

TIME CAPSULE

A RECENTLY UNEARTHED, UNRETOUCHED PRE-BUSH PERCEPTION from September 21st, 2000 shocks and saddens and then illuminates.

Is it Cogent and Prophetic?  Or simply Eerie, Unfathomable?

 

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SillyMickel’s audio rendition of this post:
"Message in a Bottle: A Message Arrives from Nine Years in the
Past Predicting Today’s Events, Part 1"


I recently unearthed, March 9, 2009, 9:49am, three never
finished drafts of an article I intended to publish on my website prior to the 2000 Presidential election.  Stuffed and interwoven among the electrons of the backups of old computers, I had completely forgotten ever having written any of it.  Engulfed, indeed, pushed around and battered within the intensity and sharpness of recent political, geopolitical, and economic and financial forces, I was shocked to see the words, written almost a decade earlier, which, desperately intoning, warned of specific dire happenings should George W. Bush be elected.  For it seemed those exact words, of so long ago, had just been lifted from the headlines and front pages of today’s daily news.


Prophetic?  Eerie?  I don’t know quite what to make of it.  It certainly disturbed me and got me to wondering, and then to writing.  Perhaps now, as I lay before us the thoughts that I couldn’t help but ponder, and alongside them the thoughts expressed in the writings of that little remembered time, you and I, just might, perhaps in ways that we would never even be able to express to each other, nevertheless find revealed to us something totally unexpected, maybe even wonderful.  By looking closely, we might just get a peek beyond life’s veil surround; we have here the chance of capturing a glimpse beyond or into that mystery that has been said to be just beyond our limited senses, that place of awe and odd activity, a mere membrane away from the normal, which mystics, sensitives, seers, and sublime artists, claim to sense and sometimes speak. 

Take that as you will; still there’s no denying the fascination and fixation that these awesome unknowables held for the likes of Einstein and William James, pinnacles of rationality to the world, yet regarding these things in their attempts to communicate them only ecstatic and rhapsodic language would do, and even at that, they would claim they could not come near what they were intuiting.  So, here, perhaps, is just that kind of rare opportunity, rare for ordinary people, for getting such a glimpse of that sensed but unseen reality beyond the common sensical one, perhaps a keyhole into Mystery itself.

Certainly possible all this, yet I have to be extremely careful to note that I was hardly the only one thinking these thoughts nine years ago (the most recent dates on them are 8/19 and9/21/2000). 

It saddens me what could have been.  Reading it, I am stunned by how we’ve managed to vanquish from our minds and our media the insane, chaotic, and truly awful outlines of our times, as the events of the last nine years crept daily into our lives and world and shaped them and it in drastic ways that we can discern only by the contrast.  These unpolished catscans of a mind and time provide such a contrast, stark and shocking. 

So these writings I will reproduce here for your consideration.  However do keep in mind the date on the upcoming writing.  The last date this piece was even touched was, as determined by the “date modified” figure, exactly 8/19/20000, at 9:41pm.  That date, so long ago in my memory, really shocked me, especially in terms of the parallels with events today that were equally salient then.  The entire piece is on the long side, I’m sorry to say, but if you, like me, are a real political junky, I think you’ll find a lot of meaty stuff.  Substantial and important zeitgeists of that time are I believe made palpable.  Considering what is going on right now in our political arenas, it may seem so tangible that you may forget that it is not about today.  So I must stress that in no way, even slightly, was this writing altered.

(More later…)

Animal White House

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SillyMickel’s audio rendition of the continuation of this post:
"Message in a Bottle: A Message Arrives from Nine Years in the
Past Predicting Today’s Events, Part 2"

 

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SillyMickel’s audio rendition of the finale of this post:
"Message in a Bottle: A Message Arrives from Nine Years in the
Past Predicting Today’s Events, Part 3"
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