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Taxpayers Tab

Taxpayer's Tab Issue #35

October 11, 2011




Vol. 2 Issue 35 October 11, 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 Each week, you can click on the Captiol dome icon (right) and be directed to that bill's page on 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. 2590, Seniors Protection Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $14.5 billion (first-year cost)

In 1972, Congress passed legislation that created a cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients by indexing benefit payments to increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Since 1975, when the COLAs first started, through 2009, beneficiaries saw an adjustment in the amount of their monthly checks. However, no adjustments were made to benefit payments in 2010 and 2011 due to low levels of inflation.

In response to the lack of a COLA for 2011, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) introduced the Seniors Protection Act. Under the Act, seniors, veterans, and other beneficiaries would receive a one-time payment of $250.

NTUF estimates that H.R. 2590 would increase spending by at least $14.5 billion based on the number of Americans -- 58 million -- who receive Social Security and SSI benefits.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit

Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 1848/S. 1316, One Percent Spending Reduction Act of 2011

Annualized Savings: -$33.5 billion (-$67 billion over two years)

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the budget deficit for the recently completed fiscal year will be $1.30 trillion. This is the third year in a row that the deficit has exceeded $1 trillion. Legislation introduced by Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL) [pictured] and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) seeks to eliminate future deficits and to achieve a balanced budget by 2019.

The One Percent Spending Reduction Act (H.R. 1848 and S. 1316) would balance the budget and reduce federal spending to 18 percent of GDP by imposing a one percent cut in both discretionary and mandatory spending for each of the next six fiscal years. If Congress and the President fail to agree on the cuts necessary to meet the bill's spending targets, an across-the-board spending cut would trim expenditures by one percent.

NTUF estimates that the legislation would save $67.0 billion over a two-year period. This is a two-year estimate rather than the typical five-year estimate. Under BillTally's methodology, NTUF calculates a two-year savings for such spending limit bills because NTUF is skeptical that Congress will abide by the cuts for an extended period of time.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit

Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 2547/S. 1372, No Child Left Inside Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $100 million ($500 million over five years)

Number of Cosponsors: 45 Congressmen and 14 Senators

According to Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD), "Many schools are being forced to scale back or eliminate environmental education programs." In an effort to bolster environmental education in America's schools, Congressman Sarbanes [pictured] and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) have introduced the No Child Left Inside Act. In a written statement, Sarbanes says that the Act "seeks to give schools and teachers the resources and flexibility to spark the imagination of our nation's children."

The bill would establish three new grant programs. The first would authorize the funding of state-level environmental literacy plans. The second would fund professional development activities for teachers and educators. The final grant program would "prepare children to understand and address major environmental challenges facing the United States" and make environmental education an integral part of the educational curriculum.

Based on a previous version of the legislation, NTUF estimates that the bill would increase spending by $500 million over the first five years.

The House version of the bill has 45 Democrat cosponsors. The Senate version is supported by 11 Democrats, one Independent, and two Republicans.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit


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.



The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 3036, Ready-To-Compete Act

Annualized Cost: $33 million (first-year cost)





The Ready to Compete Act, introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY), seeks to leverage the reach of public television to "help retrain today's workers and best equip the workforce of the future." First, the bill would expand the scope of the Ready to Learn early education program from its focus on childhood reading to include an emphasis on school readiness by including math, science, and technology instruction.

Then the bill would create the Ready to Earn program. This program would allow public television stations to develop and disseminate online and on-air education and training services to adults and adult education services. Workforce training and adult literacy initiatives would receive additional funding.

NTUF estimates that H.R. 3036 would increase spending by $33 million in its first year.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit

Missed an Issue of The Tab?

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Issue 34 - Oct 4
September Snapshot

Issue 33 - Sept 27

Issue 32 - Sept 20

Issue 31 - Sept 13

Issue 30 - Sept 6
August Snapshot

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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 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!




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