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Taxpayers Tab


Taxpayer's Tab Issue #33

September 29, 2011

 

 

 

Vol. 2 Issue 33 September 27, 2011

 

Welcome to the Taxpayer's Tab -- the weekly newsletter for up-to-the-minute research from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's BillTally Project. NTUF gives you the most and least expensive bills that affects not only the nation's ledger but your pocketbook.

To bring more people into the policy discussion, NTUF has partnered with WashingtonWatch.com. Each week, you can click on the Captiol dome icon (right) and be directed to that bill's page on WashingtonWatch.com. Contribute by giving your own input, opinions, and research on the bills highlighted in the Taxpayer's Tab!

Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 2948/S. 1597, Fix America's Schools Today (FAST) Act

Annualized Cost: $10 billion ($30 billion over three years)

The FAST Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), includes the education infrastructure funding proposals from President Obama's American Jobs Act (S. 1549). State education agencies would be awarded funds to repair and improve elementary and secondary school buildings. The sponsors' intentions are to improve indoor air quality, support electrical system upgrades, and increase energy efficiency.

Community colleges would also receive more federal dollars to modernize their facilities. The FAST Act would award grants to local colleges in order to install "green" technologies. However, those same institutions would be prohibited from using money to pay for routine maintenance and for renovating facilities for religious worship and instruction.

The bill would authorize $30 billion. NTUF assumes the bulk of the money would be spent over three years, similar to the flow of outlays that resulted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or "stimulus."

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 235, Cut Unsustainable and Top-Heavy Spending (CUTS) Act of 2011

Annualized Savings: -$39.612 billion (first-year savings)

Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) sponsored the CUTS Act to reduce federal spending. The bill calls for 48 federal savings, reductions, and project eliminations. As seen below, H.R. 235 would make significant cuts to defense and foreign aid-related programs, including a 15 percent ($12 billion) reduction in military procurement -- the largest savings proposal in the package.

Projected Savings in the CUTS Act (H.R. 235)
(in billions of $)
  First-Year Savings
Defense/Foreign Aid $22.31
Government Expenses $9.67
Infrastructure/Environment $4.369
Commerce/Jobs $0.979
Education $0.596
Health $0.376
Misc $1.312
Total $39.612*
* Collection of unpaid taxes from federal employees ($3 billion in revenues) was excluded as per BillTally Methodology
Source: Congressman Kevin Brady's Office

The bill would also freeze the salaries of Members of Congress (who would otherwise receive an automatic cost-of-living increase), reduce the federal workforce, and cap federal printing and travel costs. Funding would be eliminated for programs including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the B. J. Stupak Olympic Scholarship Program, and Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners.

NTUF scored H.R. 235 by reviewing a savings breakdown provided by Congressman Brady's office. One provision, to collect unpaid income taxes from federal employees, was excluded because the money would count as revenue, which is not applicable under BillTally rules.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 2337/S. 1280, Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $1 million ($5 million over five years)

Number of Cosponsors: 63 Congressmen and 30 Senators

Kate Puzey was a Peace Corps volunteer stationed at a school in Africa. She was found murdered shortly after a contractor, whom she had accused of sexually abusing children, was dismissed from his job. Puzey's family holds the Peace Corps responsible for her death by failing to protect her confidentiality after she filed the complaint. The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act (H.R. 2337 and S. 1280) would require the Peace Corps to better protect its volunteers and clients against sexual assault. The Act, sponsored by Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), requires the Corps to establish a sexual assault risk-reduction training course for volunteers. It would also establish an Office of Victims Advocacy and a Sexual Assault Advisory Council to develop policies to combat sexual assault and protect whistleblowers.

According the Congressional Budget Office, the Peace Corps already complies with most of the requirements outlined in the bill. Totaling $5 million over five years, new costs would result from the creation of a Victim Advocate as well as new oversight by the Peace Corps Inspector General and Government Accountability Office.

Cosponsors include 46 Democrats and 17 Republicans in the House. In the Senate, 24 Democratic and six Republican Senators currently support S. 1280.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.



 

The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 2906, Providing Resources to Improve Dual Language Education (PRIDE) Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $15 million (first-year cost)

 

 

 

 

The PRIDE Act would establish a grant to give five local education agencies funding for dual language programs. The grants would be targetted to assist low-income and limited English proficient students from preschool to fifth grade. Sponsored by Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the PRIDE Act is intended to establish new education infrastructure that would assist local districts in the development of bilingual teaching staffs and curricula.

According to the text of the bill, $15 million in new spending would be allocated in FY 2012 if the bill was enacted. The bill calls for "such sums as may be necessary" for subsequent years.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


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Issue 32 - Sept 20

Issue 31 - Sept 13

Issue 30 - Sept 6
August Snapshot

Issue 29 - Aug 30



We Want You!

NTUF is looking for winter associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit is possible. Email questions to ntuf@ntu.org. To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!



 

About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.

 

 



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