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Taxpayers Tab

Taxpayer's Tab Issue #37

October 26, 2011




Vol. 2 Issue 37 October 25, 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. For more information, check out NTUF's BillTally Project and our partner,!

Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: S. 1723, Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $6.998 billion ($34.99 billion over five years)

The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act would authorize grants to states to protect and create jobs. The grants would be used to pay salaries and benefits to keep teachers in the classroom and support staff on the job. In a press release, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said his bill would "protect nearly 400,000 education jobs." Funds would be awarded based on the number of K-12 students and the total population in the state.

Local police and fire departments would also receive money to prevent layoffs and to create additional jobs. According to Senator Menendez, the provision would "save thousands of police and fire fighter jobs" with an infusion of almost $5 billion. Similar to the bill's education measure, public funds would be available for hiring, rehiring, and retention of first responders.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), S. 1723 would result in almost $35 billion in new spending over the next five years. Spending for teachers represents 85 percent -- or $30 billion -- of the bill's five-year cost. In order to pay for the new spending in S. 1723, a 0.5 percent surtax would be imposed on individuals making more than $1 million.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit

Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 2576, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the calculation of modified adjusted gross income for purposes of determining eligibility for certain healthcare-related programs

Annualized Savings: -$1.733 billion (-$5.2 billion over three years)

Each year, Americans can calculate their income to determine if they are eligible for certain tax credits, government subsidies, and special benefits. Some assistance is determined by different factors, such as the amount of retirement pay they receive or how much inflation rises or falls. Sometimes these same factors are not included in the totals at all. For programs such as Medicaid -- a system designed to provide some or all medical care for low-income individuals and families -- you cannot make above a certain amount of money, depending on the state in which you live.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Medicaid calculations are scheduled to change in 2014. Instead of considering all income, Americans will no longer be permitted to include Social Security retirement payments in determining their Medicaid eligibility. The result would be enrolled into Medicaid. As a result, more tax dollars would be required to pay for the additional beneficiaries.

Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN) sponsored H.R. 2576 to require a return to the traditional method for calculating income to determine Medicaid eligibility.

H.R. 2576 would result in a $5.2 billion spending reduction over the first five fiscal years. By adding nontaxable Social Security to Medicaid income definitions, CBO determined that up to one million people would not become eligible for Medicaid. Those people would be required to find other forms of health insurance under the individual insurance mandate established in PPACA. Many individuals would become eligible for premium assistance credits and subsidies offered in health insurance exchanges while others would opt into employment-based coverage.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit

Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 27/S. 1218, Lumbee Recognition Act

Annualized Cost: $169 million ($846 million over five years)

Number of Cosponsors: 131 Congressmen and 1 Senator

The federal government has recognized 564 Indian tribes as of October, 2010. Recognition guarantees those tribes varying benefits including land rights, medical and education benefits, and taxing authority. The bill introduced by Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) would extend federal recognition to the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina.

If H.R. 27 were enacted, the Lumbee tribe would receive funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for support services, including education and community development. The Indian Health Service would also offer benefits to approximately 30,000 of the tribe's 54,000 person membership.

According to CBO, the bill would increase outlays by $846 million over the next five years with similar spending beyond that period. Health benefits constitute the majority of new spending.

Cosponsors include 113 Democratic and 18 Republican Representatives. Two Congressmen who recently resigned were not included. In the Senate, a single cosponsor, Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), currently supports S. 1218.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit


The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 3169, Student Support Act

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





To increase the number of school-based mental health workers in elementary and secondary schools, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has sponsored the Student Support Act. The bill would create a grant program to help local school districts hire additional school counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other student service providers. State governments would be required to match any funds provided by the federal government.

The bill would authorize $100 million in new spending for each of the next five years.

Stay tuned! This bill will be posted on Washington Watch soon!

Missed an Issue of The Tab?

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Issue 36 - Oct 18

Issue 35 - Oct 11

Issue 34 - Oct 4
September Snapshot

Issue 33 - Sept 27

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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!

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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